So Sproutish: Anti-aging gene for plants gives drought protection

12:34pm, November 28, 2007

A gene for simulating youth in plants offers an unusual approach to protecting crops from drought, says an international research team.

The gene IPT, borrowed from a bacterium, codes for an enzyme that can delay the stress-triggered senescence of plant leaves.

Tobacco plants genetically engineered to express IPT at critical moments stayed green during a lab test when researchers stopped watering them for 15 days, says Eduardo Blumwald of the University of California, Davis.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News