Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetic Discovery Could Lead To Drought-resistant Plants

Date:
July 20, 2005
Source:
University of Toronto
Summary:
New knowledge of how plants 'breathe' may help us breed and select plants that would better survive scorching summers, says a University of Toronto study.

New knowledge of how plants "breathe" may help us breed and select plants that would better survive scorching summers, says a University of Toronto study.

The paper, which offers the first example of a gene that controls how leaves close their surface pores, appears in the July 12 issue of Current Biology. "It's very exciting," says U of T botany professor and senior author Malcolm Campbell. "This is a gene that helps regulate carbon dioxide uptake. If plants are the Earth's lungs, we've just discovered a key piece of information about how the Earth breathes."

The pores on the surface of plant leaves, called stomata, function like little mouths that open and close in response to cues such as light, temperature, and water availability. Using mouse-ear cress, a relative of mustard, cabbage and radish plants, Campbell and co-authors from U of T and the University of Lancaster compared the cooling rates of plants with normal, high and low levels of gene activity. From their data, they were able to link the gene to plant exhalation.

The discovery is another step in understanding how plants respond to their environment. In hot temperatures, plants keep their mouths "shut" longer than usual, to avoid losing gases and water through evaporation. However, they must open their stomata at some point, both to pick up carbon dioxide needed for photosynthesis and to release oxygen back into the atmosphere. This new information will be important to plant breeders looking to improve crop resistance to drought, as well as to those seeking to understand plants' evolutionary responses to climate, says Campbell.

"These genes are of paramount importance. They allow plants to adapt to changes in light, carbon and water availability. Ultimately, they shape the flux of carbon and water throughout entire ecosystems and affect the carbon cycle on a global-scale." The study was supported by the University of Toronto, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council of the U.K.



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. "Genetic Discovery Could Lead To Drought-resistant Plants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 July 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050718214711.htm>.
University of Toronto. (2005, July 20). Genetic Discovery Could Lead To Drought-resistant Plants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050718214711.htm
University of Toronto. "Genetic Discovery Could Lead To Drought-resistant Plants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050718214711.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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