Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gene discovery holds key to growing crops in cold climates

10.09.2010
Fresh insight into how plants slow their growth in cold weather could help scientists develop crops suited to cooler environments.

Researchers have shown for the first time that a gene – known as Spatula – limits the growth of plants in cool temperatures, possibly helping them adjust to cool conditions.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh, who took part in the study, believe that by manipulating the gene, they could produce the opposite effect – enabling development of crops that grow well in cold climates.

Scientists studied the Spatula gene in a weed known as thale cress and found that when levels of the gene were low, the plant leaves grew almost twice as much at lower temperatures as they would normally.

Being able to improve crop growth under cool conditions – in which growth would typically be slow – could help ensure the availability of food supplies for future populations.

The study, carried out by the Universities of Edinburgh and York, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Royal Society, was published in Current Biology.

Dr Karen Halliday of the University of Edinburgh's School of Biological Sciences, who took part in the study, said: "We have pinpointed a key gene linked to the growth of plants according to the temperature – this could be of real interest in improving crop yields and food security in temperate climates."

Catriona Kelly | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ed.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Closing in on advanced prostate cancer
13.12.2017 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)

nachricht Visualizing single molecules in whole cells with a new spin
13.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A whole-body approach to understanding chemosensory cells

13.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

Water without windows: Capturing water vapor inside an electron microscope

13.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Cellular Self-Digestion Process Triggers Autoimmune Disease

13.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>