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New, more efficient way to reduce water consumption and improve plant growth

  ** New, more efficient method for reducing water consumption and improving plant growth
Credit: University of Glasgow

A team of scientists has identified a new, sustainable pathway for plants to increase the uptake of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) for photosynthesis while reducing water use.

The breakthrough was led by a team of plant scientists at the University of Glasgow and is published today in the journal Science . The researchers used a new synthetic, light-activated ion channel made from plant and algae virus proteins to accelerate the opening and closing of stomata pores in the leaves of plants, through which carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) occurs for photosynthesis.

Stomata are also the main route to water loss from plants. Previous attempts to reduce water consumption by manipulating these pores have generally been associated with cost of uptake of CO 2 .

As a result, the plants developed in Glasgow showed improved growth while saving water.

The scientists "Modified plants grew normally and significantly better under normal field conditions and fixed more CO 2 while less water was lost to the atmosphere.

Irrigation of crops accounts for about 70% of freshwater consumption The planet and its use has expanded at unsustainable rates over the past three decades, and scientists have been trying to find ways to grow plants with less water. "So far, much of the research has reduced water use, but at a cost to the environment Reduction of CO content 2 and plant growth In view of the growing demands on agricultural food production, this is not a satisfactory approach overall.

  ** New, more efficient method for reducing water consumption and improving plant growth </p>
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  19659010] Credit: Universit y of Glasgow
<p>  This new research now offers a different approach that can successfully enhance growth without compromising the efficiency of water use. </p>
<p>  The researchers studied the plant Arabidopsis, a member of the mustard family. Using the light-activated ion channel, called BLINK, the plant's stomatal responses have been accelerated and better synchronized when grown under varying light conditions typical of the natural environment (eg, when clouds cross the sky, or when they are shaded by neighboring plants). The technical facilities showed improved growth and biomass production while saving water. </p>
<p>  Corresponding author Prof. John Christie from the Institute of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology at the University said: "Our results show that the company's efficiency can be improved Water consumption of plants while increasing the photosynthetic efficiency of CO <sub> 2 </sub> Assimilation and plant growth. "</p>
<p>  Prof. Mike Blatt added: "Previous efforts to improve the water use efficiency of plants have focused on reducing the stomatal density penalty in CO <sub> 2 </sub> uptake into photosynthesis, despite the implied stoma density." Alternative approaches, as we have used them, circumvent the carbon-water compromise and could be used to improve crop yields, especially under water-limiting conditions. "[19659005] Lead author Maria Papanatsiou said:" Plants need to optimize the trade-off between photosynthesis and water loss to ensure crop growth and yield an established approach It is used in neuroscience (optogenetics) to better equip stomata that are essential for the balance of CO <sub> 2 </sub> uptake and water loss. </p>
<p>  "We used a genetic tool called the Switch serves to synchronize stomata better Light conditions and thus improve the performance of the system under lighting conditions that occur frequently in agricultural environments. "
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Rice with fewer stomata requires less water and is better for climate change

Further information:
M. Papanatsiou et al. Optogenetic manipulation of stomatal kinetics improves the assimilation of carbon, water use and growth Science (2019). DOI: 10.1126 / science.aaw0046

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University of Glasgow

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New, more efficient way to reduce water consumption and improve plant growth (2019, March 29)
retrieved on March 31, 2019
from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-efficient-growth.html

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