Growing crops to cope with climate change

January 19, 2006

Scientists at a British plant science center say they've found a gene that might help develop crops better able to cope with the changing world climate.

The researchers -- funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council at the John Innes Center in Norwich, England -- identified the gene in barley that controls how the plant responds to seasonal changes.

The scientists found the Ppd-H1 gene in barley controls the timing of the activity of another gene called CO. When the length of the day is long enough, CO activates one of the key genes that triggers flowering. Naturally occurring variation in Ppd-H1 affects the time of day when CO is activated, shifting the time of year the plant flowers.

"Growing crops will become more difficult as the global climate changes," said David Laurie, who led the study. "The varieties of crops grown in the UK are suited to the soil, seasons and traditional cool, wet summers. Later flowering in barley means it has a longer growing period to amass yield."

The research appears in the January issue of BBSRC Business.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Beyond genes: Protein atlas scores nitrogen fixing duet

Related Stories

Recommended for you

NASA missions harvest a passel of 'pumpkin' stars

October 27, 2016

Astronomers using observations from NASA's Kepler and Swift missions have discovered a batch of rapidly spinning stars that produce X-rays at more than 100 times the peak levels ever seen from the sun. The stars, which spin ...

Experts uncover hidden layers of Jesus' tomb site

October 27, 2016

In the innermost chamber of the site said to be the tomb of Jesus, a restoration team has peeled away a marble layer for the first time in centuries in an effort to reach what it believes is the original rock surface where ...

Shocks in the early universe could be detectable today

October 27, 2016

(—Physicists have discovered a surprising consequence of a widely supported model of the early universe: according to the model, tiny cosmological perturbations produced shocks in the radiation fluid just a fraction ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.