With the inevitable changes that is happening now with regards to our climate, it is important for us to know how to adapt, improve, survive, and help in combating climate change. And as one of the strategies in line with this, scientists have found out how to alter plant genes for it to absorb more carbon, resist drought, and withstand floods.
The research was done by the Salk Institute under their project called ‘Harnessing Plants Initiative.’ Researchers aimed to make plants grow deeper roots to take more carbon from the air and store it in the soil. Auxin is the hormone responsible for root growth, and by experimenting with thale cress (Arabidopsis), they were able to identify EXOCYST70A3 – the gene that controls how much auxin goes to the roots.
Other than dealing with carbon, plants with deeper roots can store more water, which make them more drought resistant, as well as having a stronger hold in soil which protects it from erosion. This discovery does not only help in fighting climate change, but it also help the plants from the damaging weather, which climate change causes.