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: Research to improve resistance to costly wheat fungal disease

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Fighting climate change with 'poop power'

December 2, 2015

The stench of clogged toilets fills the air at the US capital's wastewater treatment facility. And for good reason—it's one of the world's largest projects to transform human waste into electricity.

Roboticists learn to teach robots from babies

December 1, 2015

Babies learn about the world by exploring how their bodies move in space, grabbing toys, pushing things off tables and by watching and imitating what adults are doing.


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.