Can we create crops to withstand climate change? – Potato news today

You may not realize it, but your day revolves around plants. It’s not just food time: commercial plants are used in everything from medicine to food, paper, bioplastics, textiles, rubber and many other products. However, as global climate change intensifies, growing many of these plants will become a major challenge.

Massive heat waves and droughts are already threatening farmers: over the next three decades, only California’s San Joaquin Valley could lose up to 535 000 hectares of arable land as a result of declining water supplies.

Jennifer Brophy wants to help solve this problem, according to David Levin in this article issued by Stanford University. Brophy is an associate professor of bioengineering at Stanford and is working on techniques that she hopes will be used to change commercial plant species so that they survive in harsh conditions. “Climate change is changing faster than natural selection can,” she said. “If, for example, we can create crops that are more drought-resistant, we may be able to produce the same thing with less resources.”

Brophy is developing new genetic engineering techniques that can help plants grow in a variety of conditions. By changing the genome in both Commercial crops and soil bacteria, she believes, can help plants survive drought by retaining more water during the dry season or growing deeper roots to reach soil that has not yet dried out.

Source: Stanford University. Read the full article here
Photo: iStock / Studio 23 Can we create crops to withstand climate change? – Potato news today

Back to top button