Cold weather crop discovery

SCIENTISTS have discovered how to help crops flourish in cold climates, it was revealed yesterday.

A study by researchers at Edinburgh and York Universities identified a gene that limits the growth of plants in cool environments.

The protein, known as the spatula gene, is thought to help them adjust to lower temperatures. However, by manipulating the gene, researchers believe they could produce the opposite effect.

This could lead to the development of crops which are suited to cooler climates, securing food supplies for future generations.

Dr Karen Halliday, from Edinburgh University’s School of Biological Sciences, said: “We have pinpointed a key gene linked to the growth of plants according to the temperature. This could be of real interest in improving crop yields and food security in temperate climates.”


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