Rice with reduced stomatal density conserves water and has improved drought tolerance under future climate conditions (New Phytologist)
Rice (Oryza sativa) is an important food source in many parts of the world. Unfortunately, this crop requires large amounts of water and it is not tolerant of drought or high temperatures. Here, Caine et al., have engineered the ‘IR64’ rice cultivar so that leaves will have lower stomatal density. Engineered plants used 40% less water and survived drought and high temperature longer than control plants. In some conditions, photosynthesis rates were reduced, however, engineered plants still maintained equivalent or even improved yields.
Our Tweet highlighting this publication was retweeted 35 times and had 58 likes in July 2018. (Summary by Katie Rogers, https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.15344 )