Extra pores on plants could ease global warming: Japan study

Dec 10, 2009
Japanese researchers said on Thursday they had found a way to make plant leaves absorb more carbon dioxide in an innovation that may one day help ease global warming and boost food production. In the experiments, the team used budding leaves of thale cress, a plant formally called Arabidopsis, which has a short life span of two months and is widely used as a model plant in biology.

Japanese researchers said Thursday they had found a way to make plant leaves absorb more carbon dioxide in an innovation that may one day help ease global warming and boost food production.

The Kyoto University team found that soaking germinated seeds in a protein solution raised the number of pores, or stomas, on the leaves that inhale CO2 and release , said chief researcher Ikuko Hara-Nishimura.

"A larger number means there are more intake windows for carbon dioxide, contributing to lowering the density of the gas," she told AFP by telephone.

Another effect is higher starch production in photosynthesis, the process in which green use CO2 and water to produce sugar and other .

"It could lead to higher production of food and materials for biofuel," said Hara-Nishimura, a biology professor at Kyoto University's Graduate School in western Japan.

In the experiments, the team used budding leaves of thale cress, a plant formally called Arabidopsis, which has a short of two months and is widely used as a in biology.

They found that the number of pores multiplied relative to the concentration of the solution of the protein, which the researchers named Stomagen, achieving a maximum of four times the number of pores of an untreated plant.

An ideal increase would be two-to-three times, as too many pores impede the functions of other cells in the surface of the plant, Hara-Nishimura said.

Stomagen is easy but costly to produce chemically, and the team is working on a cheaper way to make it, Hara-Nishimura said, adding that an alternative may be to genetically modify plants to have more pores.

(c) 2009 AFP

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User comments : 5

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Velanarris
5 / 5 (3) Dec 10, 2009
The issue here is that in order to be able to uptake more carbon the plants would also need more water, more nitrogen, more molybdenum, and other trace elements as well.
degojoey
3.3 / 5 (3) Dec 10, 2009
LMAO why would you mention molybdenum before phosphorus?
Velanarris
5 / 5 (2) Dec 10, 2009
LMAO why would you mention molybdenum before phosphorus?

Due to relative rarity.

Phosphorus is present in abundant quantities almost everywhere. That and I just like saying the word.
Going
not rated yet Dec 11, 2009
The plant material would then have to be sequestered sonmewhere for this to make an inpact on co2 levels.
ArtflDgr
not rated yet Jan 06, 2010
I noticed that my comment was removed since i said that fixing a problem that doesnt exist is silly.

now that the climate stuff is out, can we weed out the ideologues who are trying to change peoples minds for POLITICAL reasons.

consensus is political, not scientific.

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