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November 14th, 2016 / Natural Science News, Panama

A team of researchers has pinpointed some of the mechanisms used by plants to cope with drought conditions. The discovery of the specific genes and proteins involved may help plant breeders develop crops better suited to changing conditions brought on by global warming. The details were just published in the journal Science.

Climate change is leading to global temperature increases and drought conditions in many areas. This growing problem has prompted plant breeders to begin developing new crop varieties that are more tolerant of environmental stress. Although scientists have known the signs of dehydration in plants, the actual molecular mechanisms were unknown. Identifying the genes responsible for responding to water scarcity could lead to the design of water-efficient crop plants. See more