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.

Gene identified that will help develop plants to fight climate change

Similar to a worm searching for food, hidden underground networks of plant roots snake through the earth, foraging for nutrients and water. Yet the genetic and molecular mechanisms that govern which parts of the soil roots explore remain largely unknown. Associate Professor Wolfgang Busch, first author Takehiko Ogura and colleagues have discovered a gene that determines whether roots grow deep or shallow in the soil. In addition, the findings will also allow researchers to develop plants that can help combat climate change as part of Salk’s Harnessing Plants Initiative, which aims to grow plants with roots that can store increased amounts of carbon underground for longer periods, reducing CO2 in the atmosphere.

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