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Crop Biotech Update

Rice with Less Stomata Needs Less Water; Better Suited for Climate Change

August 1, 2018

Scientists from The University of Sheffield have discovered that developing a high-yielding rice variety with reduced stomatal density helps the crop conserve water and survive high temperatures and drought.

The study, conducted in collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) found that low stomatal density rice lines used just 60 percent of the normal amount of water. Grown at elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, the low stomatal density rice plants survived drought and high temperature (40o C) longer than the unaltered plants.

Julie Gray, Professor of Plant Molecular Biology and lead author of the study, said, "Stomata help plants regulate their water use, so this study could have a significant impact on other crops which are at risk under climate change."

For more details, read the news article from The University of Sheffield.