Grains in the Rain: Study Opens the Door to Flood-Resistant Crops
Of the major food crops, only rice (Oryza sativa) is currently able to survive flooding. Thanks to new research, that could soon change -- good news for a world in which rains are increasing in both frequency and intensity.
The research, published today in Science, shows how other crops compare to rice when submerged in water. It found that the plants – a wild-growing tomato (Solanum pennellii), the garden tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and a plant similar to alfalfa (Medicago truncatula) – all share at least 68 families of genes with rice that are activated in response to flooding.