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WA Research Could Help Crops Endure Climate Change

Researchers at Washington State University are studying a protein that could make plants more tolerant to drought. (Scott/Adobe Stock) SPOKANE, Wash. – Researchers at Washington State University may have found a way to help crops adapt to a warming climate .

Phytologist Karen Sanguinet – an assistant professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at WSU – is studying a protein that she says could help plants move water more efficiently within their own system of veins in harsh climates.

As droughts become more prevalent under climate change, she says a plant’s ability to make the most of available water resources will be crucial.

“One of the biggest issues facing society today is understanding how climate change is going to affect our food supply,” says Sanguinet.

Sanguinet and her colleague have found promising results with the protein known as ‘MAP-20.’ Their studies have found the protein is crucial to the structure in plants that enables water movement.

Sanguinet says in dry times, air bubbles can get into the vessels of a plant that transport water, causing pockets that can block water, like a traffic jam. These air pockets can spread to other vessels through tiny structures known as pits.She explains that expression […]

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