Biotech Updates

Research Team Discovers Strategy to Make Plants More Salt Tolerant

December 9, 2020

A research team from the Centre for Research in Agricultural Economics (CRAG) has found that plants are more tolerant to soil salinity by regulating the TEMPRANILLO (TEM) genes. These findings open up new possibilities in the development of plant varieties that are better adapted to climate change.

The study, led by researcher Soraya Pelaz, reveals the crucial role that TEM genes play in protecting plants from increased soil salinity, one of the major limiting factors for crop production. To discover how TEM genes regulate plant growth under saline conditions, the CRAG team analyzed mutant Arabidopsis plants with excess and deficiency of TEM grown in saline soils. Plants under high concentrations of salt flower later and produce almost no seeds, but the study found that mutant plants with TEM deficiency flower earlier, thus producing seeds, so their shorter life cycle allowed them to escape the blockage of growth caused by salt.

"The results we present in this study provide new strategies to regulate plant growth in saline soils: who knows if in the near future we will be able to use TEM genes in rice breeding programs?" concludes Pelaz.

For more details, read the article in CRAG News.

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