Biotech Updates

Researchers Develop Mathematical Model that Predicts Plant Response to Climate Change

August 31, 2022

Research led by the Spanish National Research Council (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, CSIC) has developed a mathematical model based on temperature-regulated processes that can predict plant response to global warming. The research, published in the journal Science Advances, identified the role of COP1 protein as a growth promoter of Arabidopsis plants in long days and high environmental temperatures and its interaction with other cellular factors.

The research is a collaboration between research groups at CSIC, the Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG), the National Center for Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC), and the Interdisciplinary Group of Complex Systems (GISC) of the Carlos III University of Madrid. The results of the study have been used to develop a mathematical model that associates the active levels of cellular factors regulated by light and temperature with the growth of the embryonic stem or the hypocotyl. Salomé Prat, a researcher at CRAG points out that the importance of this work goes beyond the characterization of the molecular bases of thermomorphogenesis.

Plants adapt to the environmental conditions around them, including the duration of the day and ambient temperature. These two factors directly affect crop yields, hence the interest of the scientific community in their study. The first response of plants to temperature increase is the elongation of the hypocotyl, to facilitate cooling of the leaves and minimize the damage caused by heat. The research team grew several mutant lines of Arabidopsis under various light and temperature conditions. They were able to adjust the parameters of the equations with the experimental data of hypocotyl length, and one of the most interesting predictions of the model was that the maximum activity of COP1 occurs during the day and at high temperatures, explains Ares.

For more details, read the article in CRAG News.

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