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: Researchers find gene that may greatly increase strawberry production

Related Stories

Genetic limits threaten chickpeas, a globally critical food

February 13, 2018

Perhaps you missed the news that the price of hummus has spiked in Great Britain. The cause, as the New York Times reported on February 8: drought in India, resulting in a poor harvest of chickpeas. Far beyond making dips ...

Plants feel the heat

February 13, 2018

It's not just humans and animals that suffer when the mercury rises, plants feel the heat too. Heat stress is a major issue in agriculture and can significantly reduce crop yield. Even small increases in temperature can affect ...

Gene improves plant growth and conversion to biofuels

February 13, 2018

A research team led by the University of Georgia has discovered that manipulation of the same gene in poplar trees and switchgrass produced plants that grow better and are more efficiently converted to biofuels.

Recommended for you

Unprecedented study of Picasso's bronzes uncovers new details

February 17, 2018

Musee national Picasso-Paris and the Northwestern University/Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts (NU-ACCESS) have completed the first major material survey and study of the Musee national Picasso-Paris' ...

Scientists shed light on biological roots of individuality

February 16, 2018

Put 50 newborn worms in 50 separate containers, and they'll all start looking for food at roughly the same time. Like members of other species, microscopic C. elegans roundworms tend to act like other individuals their own ...

Researchers create first superatomic 2-D semiconductor

February 16, 2018

Atoms are the basic building blocks of all matter—at least, that is the conventional picture. In a new study, researchers have fabricated the first superatomic 2-D semiconductor, a material whose basic units aren't atoms ...

Humans will actually react pretty well to news of alien life

February 16, 2018

As humans reach out technologically to see if there are other life forms in the universe, one important question needs to be answered: When we make contact, how are we going to handle it? Will we feel threatened and react ...

0 comments

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.