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Australian Scientists Identify Natural Plant Mechanism for Water Loss
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: August 31, 2022 09:52AM

In a discovery that could help develop climate change resilient crops,
scientists from The Australian National University (ANU) and James Cook
University (JCU) have identified an ‚??exquisite‚?Ě natural mechanism that
helps plants limit their water loss with little effect on carbon dioxide
(CO2) intake, an essential process for photosynthesis, plant growth, and
crop yield.

According to Dr. Diego Marquez, co-author of the paper published
in/Nature Plants/, plants continuously lose water through pores in the
‚??skin' of their leaves. These same pores allow CO2 to enter the leaves
and are critical to their survival. For every unit of CO2 gained, plants
typically lose hundreds of units of water, which is the reason why
plants require a lot of water in order to grow and survive.

The mechanism identified by the researcher team is activated when the
environment isdry, such as on a hot summer day, to allow the plant to
reduce water loss with little effect on its CO2 uptake. JCU Associate
Professor Lucas Cernusak said they believe that the mechanism that
plants use to do this resides in water gating proteins in the membranes
of cells inside the leaf, called aquaporins. This is an exquisite
solution to restrict water movement out of the cells inside the leaf,
while still allowing diffusion of carbon dioxide into them.


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