Crop Biotech Update

UCLA Study to Predict Plant Survival vs. Drought

April 13, 2012

Scientists at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) have discovered an answer that will resolve the debate on how to predict which plant species are most vulnerable to drought, a threat posed by climate change. "Droughts are worsening around the world, posing a great challenge to plants in all ecosystems," said Lawren Sack, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UCLA and also the senior author of the research.

Sack and his UCLA team focused on a trait called "turgor loss point," which has never been proven to predict drought tolerance in plants. Turgor is pressure exerted outward on plant cell walls by the cell's contents. The research showed that drought tolerant plants have lower turgor loss points and could maintain turgor despite dry soils. The results of this research is available in the online edition of Ecology Letters, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2012.01751.x/full.

Read the news release from the UCLA's Newsroom at http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/which-plants-will-survive-droughts-231567.aspx