Mitigating impact of global warming on plant flowering

Sydney, May 2 (IANS) Indian-origin researchers have discovered a new mechanism that enables plants regulate their flowering in response to elevated temperatures.

The finding could potentially lead to the development of technology allowing us to control the physiological response of plants and mitigate the impacts of warming temperatures.

The researchers made the discovery by applying a combination of genetic, molecular and computational biology experiments to the flowering plant Arabidopsis.

In the study published in the journal Nature Plants, the researchers described how two key basic cellular processes work together to reduce the levels of a protein that normally prevents flowering, allowing the plants to produce flowers in response to elevated temperature.

“This is very exciting as our understanding of how these genetic mechanisms work together opens up whole new possibilities for us to be able to develop technology to control when plants flower under different temperatures,” said lead researcher Sureshkumar Balasubramanian, associate professor at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

“These mechanisms are present in all organisms, so we may be able to transfer this knowledge to crop plants, with very promising possibilities for agriculture,” Balasubramanian said.

“It will be interesting to investigate whether similar mechanisms operate in the control of other genes in response to environmental changes,” the paper’s first author Sridevi Sureshkumar from Monash University noted.



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