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Gene helps plants use less water without biomass loss

Purdue University News Service (January 11, 2011)

Gene helps plants use less water without biomass loss

The Arabidopsis GTL1 Transcription Factor Regulates Water Use Efficiency and Drought Tolerance by Modulating Stomatal Density Via Transrepression of SDD1

Source : Purdue University News Service (January 11, 2011)

Purdue University researchers have found a genetic mutation that allows a plant to better endure drought without losing biomass, a discovery that could reduce the amount of water required for growing plants and help plants survive and thrive in adverse conditions.

Plants can naturally control the opening and closing of stomata, pores that take in carbon dioxide and release water. During drought conditions, a plant might close its stomata to conserve water. By doing so, however, the plant also reduces the amount of carbon dioxide it can take in, which limits photosynthesis and growth.

Mike Mickelbart, an assistant professor of horticulture ; Mike Hasegawa, a professor of horticulture ; and Chal Yul Yoo, a horticulture graduate student, found that a genetic mutation in the research plant Arabidopsis thaliana reduces the number of stomata. But instead of limiting carbon dioxide intake, the gene creates a beneficial equilibrium.

Pour en savoir plus (Purdue University News Service)

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