Plant Biology
Plant Biology
To match human population growth, world agricultural production must double over the next quarter century. At Salk, we study plants so that humans will have the food, clothing, energy and medicines they need now and in the future.

How plants sound the alarm about danger

One role of plant hormones is to perceive trouble—whether an insect attack, drought or intense heat or cold—and then signal to the rest of the plant to respond. Now, Professor Joseph Ecker, Salk co-first author Mark Zander and collaborators report new details about how plants respond to a hormone called jasmonic acid, or jasmonate. The findings reveal a complex communication network and could help members of Salk’s Harnessing Plants Initiative develop crops that are hardier and more able to withstand rapid climate change.

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