Natural anti-freeze

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

british scientists have discovered a natural anti-freeze made of carrots to protect plants against damage by frost. It can be moved into other crops to protect them. Maggie Smallwood of the biology department of York University in northern England led the team that discovered the carrot anti-freeze.

" They work by binding the ice-crystal surfaces -- thus stopping them from growing. A lot of the damage that is done to the plants is because the ice crystals grow large and disrupt the tissue structure. A protein that stops crystals growing can reduce tissue damage, " says Smallwood.

Smallwood and her team are looking for more natural anti-freeze substances in other plants and animals. Although five different ones have already been found in fish and other animals, only one or two of them have been transferred into plants. There is evidence that a natural plant anti-freeze may work better for plants and plant products in general.

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