Biotech Updates

Gene Flow May Help Plants Adapt to Climate Change

July 8, 2011

Researchers at University of California Davis report in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that plants could better adapt to extreme climate change through gene flow or the exchange of genes in plants inhabiting extreme environments. Sharon Strauss, professor of evolution and ecology at UC Davis and lead author of the study, together with a team of researchers studied cutleaved monkeyflowers which  are inhabiting different types of environment.

Through cross pollinating monkeyflowers from two different locations at the warm, low-elevation edge of the plants' range with monkeyflowers from the middle of the range, the researchers found that gene flow help plants adapt to warmer environment and hybrids from two warm-edge populations did better than either of their parents, perhaps because the populations had been using different genes to adapt to warm environments.

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