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UCSD study reveals how plants respond to elevated carbon dioxide

t carbon dioxide responsiveness, and understanding the underlying mechanisms may make it possible to engineer improved water use efficiency in some crop plants or trees that will be exposed to higher carbon dioxide levels in the future."

In the paper, the researchers also report the discovery of the first known plant with a genetic mutation that makes it strongly insensitive to increased levels of carbon dioxide, which will provide additional information about the mechanism of plants' response to carbon dioxide levels. However, the researchers caution that a number of factors in addition to future atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, such as temperature, precipitation and available nutrient levels, will need to be considered before it will be possible to thoughtfully predict plant behavior based on molecular mechanisms.

"These molecular mechanisms are like fundamental parts of machinery," explained Young. "It's hard to predict what an instrument will do, if you don't even know anything about the parts that it is made from. Identify and characterize the parts, and you can figure out how they fit together to generate the structure of the machine, and from there you can figure out what it will do when you push button A or pull lever B."
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Source:University of California - San Diego


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