Researcher: Plant 'Remembers,' Adapts to Survive

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Researchers say they've shown that certain plants have smarts during dry times.

Experts say the findings could lead to crops that are better able to withstand drought, like Texas endured last year.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln researcher Michael Fromm says
studies on two crops have shown a short-term memory for surviving
dry times. Fromm's initial study, with a member of the mustard family, found that stressing plants helps them adapt and aids in surviving transplanting.

Murray Coulter, a genetic biologist who taught at Texas Tech for more than three decades, said Fromm's research isn't saying plants can think.

But Coulter says if it's just one gene that needs modifying, he thinks the technology could be in crop fields in five years.

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