Drought control

Published: Sunday 28 February 1999

A gene that controls drought tolerance in plants has been identified. Scientists say that they may soon produce genetically engineered plants capable of surviving droughts. The gene was identified by scientists working at the University of Toronto, Canada. The gene controls a plant hormone that triggers closure of pores on the plant's leaves in times of stress. If the gene is suppressed, the pores are closed. This makes the plant lose less water. The only shortcoming with shutting down gene's action is that it would inhibit growth, which will result in lower crop yields.

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