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New techniques to manipulate plant adaption in arid climates

EurekAlert (14-Feb-2011)

New techniques to manipulate plant adaption in arid climates

EurekAlert (14-Feb-2011)

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev researchers have developed techniques to manipulate root development functionality that can help plants better adapt to hostile growing environments.

In a recent paper published in the journal The Plant Cell, BGU researchers were able show that by manipulating a specific gene they could impact lateral root growth. Lateral root (LR) development is a highly regulated process that determines a plant’s growth and ability to adapt to life in different environmental conditions.

The researchers identified ABI4, a master-gene that controls LR development, then mutated the gene and constructed transgenic plants in which this gene is over-expressed. They demonstrated that the ABI4 gene functions at a central junction that determines the accumulation of signals from three different plant hormones. The balance and manipulation of these signals, achieved via ABI4, regulates root structure development.

Story Source  : American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

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