Researchers generate plants with enhanced drought resistance without penalizing growth

ScienceDaily | 11/8/2018 | Staff
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Ana Caño-Delgado has been studying how the plant steroids -the brassinosteroids- regulate plant development and growth in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana for more than 15 years. It is known that these phytohormones bind to different cell membrane receptors, causing a signaling cascade in the cell that will end up producing effects such as cell elongation or division. Since 2016 and thanks to a project funded by the European Research Council (ERC), her laboratory uses this knowledge to find strategies that confer drought resistance to plants. By modifying brassinosteroid signaling researchers had so far achieved arabidopsis plants with increased drought ressistance, but due to the complex action of these hormones on plant growth, these plants were much smaller than the respective controls.

In the work now published in Nature Communications, researchers have studied drought resistance and growth in Arabidopsis thaliana plants with mutations in different brassinosteroid receptors. Thanks to this detailed study, researchers have discovered that plants that over-express the BRL3 brassinosteroid receptor in the vascular tissue are more resistant to the lack of water than control plants and that, unlike the other mutants, they do not present defects in their development and growth. "We have discovered that modifying brassinosteroid signaling only locally in the vascular system, we are able to obtain drought resistant plants without affecting their growth," explains Caño-Delgado.

Afterwards - CRAG - Researchers - Collaboration - Researchers

Afterwards, CRAG researchers in collaboration with researchers from Europe,...
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