Anti-freeze gene found
australian scientists have discovered a gene that could prevent frost damage to crops, thus saving billions of dollars a year worldwide.
The anti-freeze" gene has been identified in the Antarctic hair grass (Deschampsia antarctica) by a team headed by German Spangenberg of La Trobe University in Victoria. It allows the grass to tolerate temperatures as low as minus 30 c.
Spangenberg says the gene expresses a protein that helps the plant survive being frozen rock solid and then thawing. This helps prevents damage from ice crystals. Transgenic plants (containing the anti-freeze gene) were also found to tolerate extremely low temperatures.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.