Researchers look at reducing yield loss for crops under stress

Posted: April 4, 2010 at 8:11 am

Story Summary: Plant researchers are taking a long look at stress in order to improve crop productivity, especially when faced with issues of climate change. It may also allow drier areas of the planet to support sustainable yields and profitable crops, according to Howell. These sensors pick up on cues that appear as misfolded proteins. Much like a meticulous housekeeper would realize something was wrong if he or she discovered heaps of unfolded clothes in the closet, according to Howell. But protein folding is a very finicky process and can mess up when environmental conditions are bad, as during a period of intense heat. In the research, Howell and his colleagues reveal how these transcription factors find and activate their target genes. When coupled with a previous study from this group, the paper describes how there are actually two sets of factors involved. When coupled with a previous study from this group, the paper describes how there are actually two sets of factors involved. One set specializes in activating genes in response to salt stress. One set specializes in activating genes in response to salt stress. The factor in this study responds to heat stress and the accumulation of unfolded proteins. The factor in this study responds to heat stress and the accumulation of unfolded proteins….Read the Full Story

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