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Did You Know Plants Can Remember Previous Droughts and Handle Dehydration Stress?

It’s not just you who are built to handle stress and carry on with life. Latest studies reveal that plants can remember previous droughts and learn to deal with such situations.  A team of scientists led by Michael Fromm from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, plant molecular biologist Zoya Avramova and post doctorial fellow Yong Ding, conducted their research on Arabidopsis, a member plant in the mustard family and arrived at some amazing results.

The findings reveal that plants remember the previous dehydration stress and they train themselves to survive possible drought stress that might dawn on them in future.

The research team also figured out that the plants that experienced pre-stress, recover more quickly when the next time they were dehydrated. But the non trained plant leaves lost more water and droop faster.

When plants face dehydration, they increase transcription of certain genes and when hydrated they return to normal levels. In case of a drought yet again, plants remember the previous transcriptional response to stress and induce these genes to a higher level. According to scientists this transcriptional memory is connected with chromatin changes.

The scientific world hopes that these findings would help breed crops with better drought resistance.

This discovery can be helpful in home gardening too. If you would want to transplant a plant, all you need to do is to then cutoff the water supply for a couple of days and then water it overnight before transplantation.

Try that out?

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