Title: Massive Growth of Super Dwarf Rice Plant in A Fully Closed Type Plant Factory for Poly Lactic Acid Production

Haruhiko Murase

Osaka Prefecture University, Japan


Dr. Murase studied Agricultural Engineering at Michigan State University, USA and obtained  PhD in 1980. He then became a professor at Osaka Prefecture University, Japan.  Currently he is a professor at Himeji University and the president of Mspore Corporation.


A natural strain of dwarf rice (Oriza rufipogon G. subsp. nunus, M. N.) is discovered. It is just ordinary rice except its plant length. The length of the rice plant is about 20 cm.  Since the size of the discovered rice plant is so small, those conventional machineries for rice production are not usable to this plant and the conventional paddy field culture method cannot be applicable either.   The plant size just fits for a multi-layered shelf type plant factory. It can be harvested 4 to 6 times in a year under controlled environment depending on control strategies. Since this grain production system can be fully closed, the amount of recycled and circulating water requirement to produce dried rice grains is remarkably small compering to the open paddy field system. This dwarf rice plant requires just 300 PPFD. By using LED for radiating the plant, it is easy to sustain proper plant temperature at around 28℃.  Most of the conventional closed type plant factories have been utilized to grow perishable vegetables.  It is often difficult to find proper consumers in order to sell those short shelf-life vegetables.  This plant factory grown rice grain is edible naturally. However, a variety of industrial applications at very low price is more expected.  For example, the global demand for the poly lactic acid production is becoming very much sizable in the world environmental issues.  The bio-ethanol production is another market for this material. It should be reminded that this factory production of grains can be robotized easily by modifying conventionally mechanized paddy system.   This leads us to 5G and IoT era in the near future.