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Crop Biotech Update

Study Finds Barley Protein Could Help Boost Its Yield in High Temperatures

July 1, 2021
Photo Source: University of Adelaide

An international team of researchers from the University of Adelaide and Shanghai Jiao Tong University found a novel mechanism in barley that could help create high-yielding crops as global temperature rises.

The researchers identified the protein, HvMADS1, which regulates the number of flowers produced on each spike during exposure to high temperatures. The protein is also responsible for maintaining unbranched spikes in barley under intense recurrent high temperatures. To test their hypothesis, the researchers used a high-precision gene editing technique to create a new variety of barley that does not have HvMADS1 protein. They found these plants bear more flowers at high temperatures compared to their conventional variety.

The results of the study gave a better understanding of the biological processes of plants which could help researchers breed more sustainable, high-yielding, and heat-tolerant crops.

For more details, read the article in the University of Adelaide and the journal article in Nature.

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