News FocusPlant Genetics

Finding New Ways to Protect Drought-Stricken Plants

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Science  17 May 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5571, pp. 1226-1229
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5571.1226

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With drought an ever-present threat, researchers are identifying genes that can help plants tolerate arid conditions in hopes of using them to produce hardier crop varieties. They've achieved some successes, albeit modest ones, with cotton and tomatoes, and they hope to extend the work to the most important cultivated crops: cereal grains. Given the resistance that greeted plants genetically altered to resist pests or herbicides, it remains to be seen how well accepted drought-resistant plants produced by the same technology will be.