a better understanding of the genes that control the protective layer on plants and how they function, improving our ability to grow crops that will be more adaptable to climate change.
Plants form protective cuticle layers that help them guard against water loss and pathogens. Understanding how these layers form could help scientists develop more stress-tolerant plants. Algoma University’s Isabel Molina is on the case. Working with researchers at the University of California, San Diego and Cornell University, she is studying the genes responsible for making and maintaining the fatty acids and waxes plants use to assemble their cuticles.
Helping plants – especially crops – to better withstand drought and high temperatures is increasingly important in an era of climate change.