The American researchers conducted a study to develop genetically modified plants to resist drought and they did it. Accordingly, this is the most viable solution, as the drought generated by global warming has already begun to affect agricultural crops around the globe.
A team of researchers at the University of Illinois found that a simple genetic modification of a protein from a plant can produce a real miracle and the plant needs by 25% less water to develop in the same way as in normal condition, according to the Science And Technology magazine, in its latest publication.
The discovery has a huge potential not only for adapting to the increasingly unfavorable climatic conditions but also for growing plants in arid areas where it could never have been done or in the areas massively affected by drought due to global warming.
The secret lies in the pores of the plant’s leaves to make genetically modified plants to resist drought
Scientists have noticed that plants can be forced to partially close their stomata (small pores of the leaf that open and close to remove oxygen and extract carbon dioxide) with a protein called Photosystem II Subunit S (PSBs).
The hypothesis that scientists have elaborated is that by limiting the opening of the stomata, the plant will no longer lose water by sweating, and, as a result, it will not need as much water to grow. The hypothesis was tested on a tobacco culture and the results were incredible.
By increasing PsbS protein levels, the stomate’s openings were reduced and the ratio of extracted carbon dioxide and eliminated water improved by 25%, which means exactly that these plants need 25% less water to develop as in normal conditions.
The Americans also suggest that this modification should be effective with any plant.
The findings are important to create genetically modified plants to resist drought and which could be successfully used in areas affected by drought due to global warming.