Sowing a future for peas

Sep 16, 2008
Diversity of pea seeds collected from different parts of the world for genetic studies. Credit: John Innes Center

New research from the John Innes Centre and the Central Science Laboratory could help breeders to develop pea varieties able to withstand drought stress and climate change. The research also shows that the composition of crops is likely to change with the climate.

"While many compounds have been reported to change in laboratory based drought stress experiments, few have identified how such compounds change in crops under field conditions," says Dr Claire Domoney of the John Innes Centre.

The researchers used NMR spectroscopy to produce a profile of the levels of all the different small molecules or metabolites in pea plant leaves. This profile, known as the metabolome, was then compared with that from plants subjected to controlled drought stress. The study found several key plant metabolites increased under drought stress, some of which had not previously been shown to be involved.

Less water, especially at critical times in the growing season, means lower yield and quality. This new information could be used to identify varieties of pea and other pulse crops that are more tolerant to changes in water availability.

Source: Norwich BioScience Institutes

Explore further: How DNA is helping us fight back against pest invasions

Related Stories

Bodyguards for precious seeds—without chemical mace

May 19, 2015

Naturally occurring, plant-associated bacteria as a crop protection agent are now avail-able for use in crop protection to alleviate the contamination of soil with pesticides—arguably the most environmentally ...

Drought-induced tree mortality accelerating in forests

May 19, 2015

Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory have found that drought and heat-induced tree mortality is accelerating in many forest biomes as a consequence of a warming climate in their paper "Darcy's law ...

Tracking photosynthesis from space

May 05, 2015

Watching plants perform photosynthesis from space sounds like a futuristic proposal, but a new application of data from NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite may enable scientists to do just ...

Recommended for you

How DNA is helping us fight back against pest invasions

13 minutes ago

They are the original globe trekkers. From spiders bunking along with humanity's spread into south-eastern Asia, to sea squirts hopping on military craft returning after the Korean War, invasive species have enveloped the globe. ...

Bacteria study could have agricultural impact

52 minutes ago

Wichita State University microbiology professor Mark Schneegurt and ornithology professor Chris Rogers have discovered that one of North America's most common migratory birds – the Dark-eyed Junco – carries ...

Bird beaks feeling the heat of climate change, say scientists

53 minutes ago

While the human population grapples with ways to counter the effects of climate change, Deakin University research has discovered that birds might have been working on their own solution for the past 145 years – grow bigger ...

Conservation theory gets mathematical treatment

1 hour ago

Theories used for the last four decades as a tool to guide the conservation of flora and fauna may have misinterpreted the biological reality, according to new research by mathematicians at the University ...

User comments : 0

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.