Researchers hunt for heat-tolerant rice, wheat varieties as global temperatures rise

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A group of Arkansas State University educators and students are studying effects of heat on rice crops in a three-university project aimed at discovering plants that can withstand global warming.

Scientists at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and Kansas State University are also looking at creating a heat-resilient variety of wheat….

Argelia Lorence, director of ASU’s phenomics facility and a Vaughn Endowed Professorship of metabolic engineering, is heading the ASU study with Wency Larazo, a rice agronomist.

She said climate data has shown that during the past 40 years, the average night time temperature in areas that produce rice have increased by 5 degrees. That’s indicative, she said, of continued rising temperatures that are putting stress on important crops.

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The plants will also be….tested for size, color, the amount of chlorophyll they contain and their leaf temperatures….When Lorence and her team find the most resilient [varieties of] rice, they will present their findings to….breeders who can then attempt to crossbreed [them] for a more heat-resilient form of rice seed.

Read full, original article: Arkansas Sate turns up the heat on rice crops

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