Seed World

Gene Required for Plant Growth at Warmer Temperatures Discovered

Researchers have discovered a new gene that enables plants to regulate their growth in different temperatures.
Published in PLoS Genetics, the finding could lead to new ways of optimizing plant growth when it comes to climate change.
Sureshkumar Balasubramanian, an associate professor from Australia’s Monash University, along with colleagues in Spain, made the discovery after analyzing natural populations of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, commonly known as thale cress.
“Plants are highly sensitive to environmental changes and even small changes in temperature impact on their growth,” he says. “We were surprised to find that some populations of Arabidopsis simply would not grow when the temperatures increased as little as 3-4 C.”
The researchers say the findings provide insight into how plants modulate their growth, and could lead to scientists designing plants that could withstand elevated temperatures.