Nov 2, 2021

“Genetic Goldmine” Uncovered for Plant Survival in One of the Harshest Environments on Earth

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, climatology, genetics, sustainability

Evolutionary genomics approach identifies genes that enable plants to live in the Atacama Desert, offering clues for engineering more resilient crops to face climate change.

An international team of researchers has identified genes associated with plant survival in one of the harshest environments on Earth: the Atacama Desert in Chile. Their findings, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), may help scientists breed resilient crops that can thrive in increasingly drier climates.

“In an era of accelerated climate change, it is critical to uncover the genetic basis to improve crop production and resilience under dry and nutrient-poor conditions,” said Gloria Coruzzi, Carroll & Milton Petrie Professor in the New York University (NYU) Department of Biology and Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, who co-led the study with Rodrigo Gutiérrez.

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