The identification and duplication of a gene that controls production of plants outermost protective coating may allow Purdue University researchers to create crops with increased drought resistance.
Research conducted at Purdue University by Matt Jenks with Arabidopsis plants may lead to the development of more drought-resistant plants. Jenks is an assistant professor of horticulture. (Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Tom Campbell)
Scientists cloned the gene WAX2 after they discovered a fast-wilting mutant of Arabidopsis, a commonly used experimental plant. The gene is directly associated with the synthesis of the protective layer of plants, called the cuticle, and its contained waxes, according to the study published in the May issue of The Plant Cell.
The difference in the mutant Arabidopsis when compared to a wild-type, or normal, plant is the plants ability to retain water. This is apparently because the mutation, called wax2, has a different cuticle structure than found in a plant that has the normal gene, WAX2.
Susan A. Steeves | Purdue News
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