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Plants can adapt genetically to survive harsh environments
Date:1/31/2011

adaptation has remained elusive. Salt said this is some of the first evidence linking genetic changes with adaptation to specific environmental factors.

"What we're looking at is evolution in action," Salt said. "It looks like natural selection is matching expression of this gene to the local soil conditions."

Salt said crops grown around the world could be affected, possibly negatively, by climate change. It may become important to identify mechanisms to adapt plants to drought conditions, higher temperatures or changes in soil nutrition. Salt believes identifying genetic mechanisms of how plants naturally adapt to their environments will be key to solving those problems.

"Driven by natural selection, plants have been evolving to grow under harsh conditions for millennia," Salt said. "We need to understand genetically what is allowing these plants to survive these conditions."


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Contact: Brian Wallheimer
bwallhei@purdue.edu
765-496-2050
Purdue University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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