Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Plant Geneticist Identifies Drought-Tolerant Gene

Date:
October 29, 1998
Source:
University Of Toronto
Summary:
A University of Toronto botanist has discovered a method involving gene suppression that will enable a plant's leaves to stay green long after the last watering.

House plants that tolerate neglect. Lawns that need less watering. Crops that survive longer with little rain or irrigation. Vegetables that stay fresher in the market. Bouquets that stay fragrant for weeks.

Related Articles


These possibilities are a step closer, thanks to a U of T professor's isolation of the gene that controls drought tolerance in plants. Botanist Peter McCourt has discovered a method involving gene suppression that will enable a plant's leaves to stay green long after the last watering. "Drought is obviously a problem for farmers worldwide; these genetically engineered plants will be able to wait out periods of drought without dying." In October, he co-authored a paper in the journal Science outlining his discovery.

The plant hormone abscisic acid triggers the closure of the plant's stomata -- minute pores located on the leaf -- in times of stress. McCourt has discovered abscisic acid is controlled by the ERA1 gene and that by inhibiting the gene's action, a plant becomes super-sensitive to drought. By suppressing the gene -- and thereby keeping the stomata closed -- he found it is possible to control water loss so plants last longer despite the onset of adverse conditions.

While shutting down the action of the gene inhibits growth and thereby would lower crop yields, McCourt believes farmers facing drought would prefer retaining at least a portion of their crop as opposed to losing everything. He remains confident that further research will find a way to inhibit the action of the gene only when drought is anticipated.

The initial results of McCourt's research may be useful in applications such as the cut flower industry. He has licensed his discovery to Kingston-based Performance Plants, a small biotechnology company working on a drought-tolerant strain of canola, one of Canada's leading export crops.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Toronto. "Plant Geneticist Identifies Drought-Tolerant Gene." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 October 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981028144738.htm>.
University Of Toronto. (1998, October 29). Plant Geneticist Identifies Drought-Tolerant Gene. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 24, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981028144738.htm
University Of Toronto. "Plant Geneticist Identifies Drought-Tolerant Gene." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981028144738.htm (accessed January 24, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) Experts estimate Ebola has wiped out one-third of the world&apos;s gorillas and chimpanzees. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) Activists hope the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) will label killer whales endangered, allowing lawyers to sue a Miami aquarium to release an orca into the wild after 44 years. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

Buzz60 (Jan. 23, 2015) Some &apos;healthy&apos; foods are actually fattening. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) shines a light on the sneaky foods like nuts, seeds, granola, trail mix, avocados, guacamole, olive oil, peanut butter, fruit juices and salads that are good for you...but not so much for your waistline. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
British Zoo Cameras Capture Closeup Video of Tigers Feeding, Climbing Trees

British Zoo Cameras Capture Closeup Video of Tigers Feeding, Climbing Trees

Buzz60 (Jan. 22, 2015) Clever camera placement at a British zoo gets amazingly up-close shots of tigers climbing trees and hunting for food. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the video. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins