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New mechanism helps plants tackle global warming


Washington : A team of researchers has discovered a mechanism that enables plants to regulate their flowering in a warming world.

The finding could potentially lead to the development of technology allowing us to control the physiological response of plants and mitigate the impacts of warming temperatures.

The Monash team led by Sureshkumar Balasubramanian made the discovery by applying a combination of genetic, molecular and computational biology experiments to the flowering plant Arabidopsis.

Associate Professor Balasubramanian explained how two key basic cellular processes work together to reduce the levels of a protein that normally prevents flowering, allowing the plants to produce flowers in response to elevated temperature.

“This is very exciting as our understanding of how these genetic mechanisms work together opens up whole new possibilities for us to be able to develop technology to control when plants flower under different temperatures. These mechanisms are present in all organisms, so we may be able to transfer this knowledge to crop plants, with very promising possibilities for agriculture,” said Balasubramanian.

“It will be interesting to investigate whether similar mechanisms operate in the control of other genes in response to environmental changes,” said first author Sridevi Sureshkumar.

The study is published in the journal Nature Plants. (ANI)

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