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Crop Biotech Update

Plant Protein Discovery to Help Plants Tolerate Climate Change and Reduce Need for Fertilizers

September 9, 2020

Researchers led by Dr. Guilhem Reyt from the School of Biosciences and Future Food Beacon at the University of Nottingham have discovered how a protein in plant roots controls the uptake of minerals and water, a finding which could improve the tolerance of agricultural crops to climate change and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers.

The research, published in Current Biology, shows that members of the blue copper proteins family, the Uclacyanins are vital in the formation of Casparian strips. These strips are essential structures that control mineral nutrient and water use efficiencies by forming tight seals between plant cells, blocking nutrients, and water leaking between.

"This research is important in revealing the molecular mechanics underpinning efforts to improve mineral nutrient and water use efficiencies and enhanced stress tolerance, making crops more able to withstand flooding, drought, nutrient deficiencies, and trace element toxicities," Dr. Reyt said.

For more details, read the press release from The University of Nottingham.

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