Drug Helps Plants Resist Drought: Study

ABBY OLENA | October 24, 2019

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An engineered small molecule called opabactin that targets the receptor for the hormone abscisic acid (ABA), which plants release in stressful conditions, limited water loss in Arabidopsis, tomato, and wheat, and improved wheat’s tolerance of drought-like conditions in the lab, according to a study published today (October 24) in Science. It could be a novel strategy for helping crops cope with the increased numbers of droughts that researchers predict as the climate changes, the authors say, but must be evaluated for toxicity and environmental impact before use in field tests.

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