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Crop Biotech Update

Int'l Team Uses Genomic Data to Show How Plants Adapt to Changing Climate

January 15, 2020

A team of scientists from Denmark, Japan, Austria, and Germany explored on how to ensure that crop plants continue to be productive amidst changing climate. The results of their study are published in Nature Communications.

The researchers investigated the plant Lotus japonicus, which had limited genomic changes but is still able to adapt to diverse climates in Japan, ranging from subtropical to temperate. They combined the data from field tests and genome sequencing and concluded the colonization history of L. japonicus in Japan and pinpoint certain locations in the genome where plant populations adapted to warm and cold climates, respectively, and exhibited maximum genetic differentiation. Furthermore, it was found that some of the genomic regions were significantly linked with plant winter survival and flowering.

The findings provide the first data on specific genomic regions that have changed in reaction to natural selection to allow plant species to adapt to new climatic conditions.

Read the research article in Nature Communications.

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