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.
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.
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