Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Reveal How Plants Sense Temperature

December 5, 2018

Scientists from the University of California, Riverside (UCR) led by Dr. Meng Chen illustrates how plants sense temperature using genetic triggers in model plant, Arabidopsis. Their paper is published in Nature Communications.

Chen and colleagues studied the role of phytochrome B, a molecular signaling pathway that may play a vital role in how plants react to temperature. They observed phytochrome B in Arabidopsis at 21 degrees Celsius and 27 degrees Celsius under red light. The monochromatic wavelength allowed the team to study how this particular plant sensor functions without interference from other wavelengths of light. Results showed that phytochrome B works as a temperature sensor during the day in the summer. The results also led them to HEMERA, a transcription activator that turns on the temperature-responsive genes that control plant growth. The team regards it as the master control for temperature sensing in plants.

The researchers plan to expand their study to further understand how plants react to temperature in molecular levels. They perceive that the findings will help other researchers engineer crops that produce better yields amidst warmer climates.

Read more about the study from UCR.