Plant growth genes identified that could lead to increased crop yields

gal MG

Scientists say the discovery of a group of hormones in plants could revolutionise food production by improving yields.

The Universities of Queensland and Sydney collaborated on the study, which has found about 130 CLE peptide hormones in legumes that were essential to growth and development.

Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Integrative Legume Research Brett Ferguson said while peptides were known to exist in plants, bacteria and animals, their role as signals to regulate development was little understood.

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Unlike genetic modification (GMO), which adds new genes to an organism, Dr Ferguson said this work focussed on taking attributes already in the plant and manipulating them.

“Even a small increase in yield could be massively important to agriculture,” he said.

While the work has so far focussed on legumes, such as soy beans, Dr Ferguson said there could be applications for both animals and other plants.

[Read the full studies here and here (behind paywall)]

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The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Steroids for crops? Not quite, but peptides could revolutionize how food is grown

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