Flower study aids crop development

Mar 05, 2012

Warming autumn evenings are causing plants to flower faster than they used to, scientists have found.

The discovery sheds light on the influence of seasonal temperatures on and could help the development of crops suited to changing climates.

Researchers studying the growth of plants have found that increasing night temperatures in autumn accelerate their growth.

This leads them to develop flowers - and fruit - before they have had time to fully grow.

The discovery gives scientists valuable insight into the impact of changing climates on plants.

It could help the development of suited to future , with high yields.

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh compared results, produced by collaborators in the US, for tiny cress plants grown at locations across Europe with a of how the cress ought to grow.

They found a between the theory and the field trials, which could be explained by accelerated plant growth caused by warmer Autumn temperatures.

Researchers say their findings enable a better understanding of the complex links between factors that affect plant growth, such as exposure to light, and day and night temperatures.

Their study, published in New Pthytologist, was funded by the Darwin Trust, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance.

"The more we understand how factors like sunlight and temperature affect the development of plants through the varying seasons, the better equipped we will be to breed crop varieties that can flourish," said Dr. Karen Halliday, School of Biological Sciences.

Explore further: How an RNA gene silences a whole chromosome

Related Stories

Breakthrough: 'Global warming gene'

Nov 29, 2011

The molecular mechanism which makes some plants grow more rapidly when the temperature rises has been identified by researchers at the University of Bristol in a paper published today in Proceedings of th ...

Scientists show that plants have measure of the shortest day

Dec 23, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- It is not only people who feel the effects of short winter days - new research by the University of Edinburgh and the University of Warwick has shed light on how plants calculate their own winter solstice. ...

Improving crops from the roots up

Jan 24, 2012

Research involving scientists at The University of Nottingham has taken us a step closer to breeding hardier crops that can better adapt to different environmental conditions and fight off attack from parasites.

Recommended for you

How an RNA gene silences a whole chromosome

Apr 27, 2015

Researchers at Caltech have discovered how an abundant class of RNA genes, called long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs, pronounced link RNAs) can regulate key genes. By studying an important lncRNA, called Xist, ...

Single cells seen in unprecedented detail

Apr 27, 2015

Researchers have developed a large-scale sequencing technique called Genome and Transcriptome Sequencing (G&T-seq) that reveals, simultaneously, the unique genome sequence of a single cell and the activity ...

York's anti-malarial plant given Chinese approval

Apr 24, 2015

A new hybrid plant used in anti-malarial drug production, developed by scientists at the University of York's Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP), is now registered as a new variety in China.

The appeal of being anti-GMO

Apr 24, 2015

A team of Belgian philosophers and plant biotechnologists have turned to cognitive science to explain why opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has become so widespread, despite positive contributions ...

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.