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Plant scientists have revealed a technique to improve plant growth with less water while increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) use for photosynthesis.
The team of researchers, from the University of Glasgow, developed a way to speed up the opening and closing of the stomata - pores in the leaves of the plants.
Tool - Switch - Stomata - Sunlight - Plant
They used a genetic tool which acted like a switch which allowed the stomata to synchronise with the sunlight to enhance plant performance.
Plants lose most of their water through the stomata. Previous attempts to reduce water usage by adjusting these pores has generally come at a cost in CO2 uptake.
Crop - Irrigation - Accounts - Cent - Water
Crop irrigation accounts for roughly 70 per cent of fresh water use on the planet and its use has expanded at unsustainable rates over the past three decades.
But the modified plants engineered at Glasgow showed improved growth while conserving water use.
Ion - Channel - Plant - Virus - Carbon
Using a synthetic light-activated ion channel, engineered from plant and algal virus proteins- the carbon dioxide (CO2) was able to enter during photosynthesis.
They grew as normal, and substantially better, under typical field conditions,...
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