Study gets to root of rice's resilience to floods

Climate change is increasing both the severity and frequency of extreme weather events, including floods. That’s a problem for many farmers, since rice is the only major food crop that’s resilient to flooding. A new study, published in Science, however, identified genetic clues to this resilience that may help scientists improve the prospects for other crops.

“Our work is the most comprehensive look yet across species into what’s really going on under the hood as plants respond to flooding,” says Roger Deal, associate professor of biology at Emory University and a lead author of the study. “Understanding the mechanism for flooding tolerance is the first step in understanding how you might increase it in plants that lack it.”

Dr. Deal is a faculty member in the BCDB and GMB programs.

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