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International research led by The Australian National University (ANU) has found how plants, such as rice and wheat, sense and respond to extreme drought stress, in a breakthrough that could lead to the development of next-generation drought-proof crops.
Lead researcher Dr Kai Xun Chan. . . said the team discovered an enzyme that senses adverse drought and sunlight conditions. . .
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“The sensor is able to sense when conditions become unfavourable, such as during extreme drought stress. . .[Dr Chan said.]
“This sets off a ‘fire alarm’ in the plant, telling it to respond to drought by making beneficial chemical compounds, for instance. But in the field, this can occur too late and the plant would have suffered damage already.
“If we can get the alarm to go off at the first signs of water deficit, we can help the plant survive severe droughts.”
More drought-tolerant crops are crucial to helping ensure global food security . . . .
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Read full, original post: ANU leads effort to develop drought-proof crops