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Enhanced Thermotolerance in Plants

Agriculture production is facing a number of challenges due to global climate change. Notably, the reported negative effects on wheat, maize, and barley yields due to rising temperatures could reach losses of an estimated $5 billion per year. Over the past several years research has focused on understanding the processes involved in the response of plants to elevated temperatures. Recent studies have shown that the Arabidopsis gene for monothiol glutaredoxin, named AtGRXS17, is a critical mediator of heat stress.

Researchers at Kansas State University have described the translocation of AtGRXS17, the protein product of AtGRXS17, to the plants nucleus during high temperature regimens and have demonstrated that over-expression of AtGRXS17 in plants minimized the photo-oxidation of chlorophyll and reduced the oxidative damage of cell membrane systems under heat stress. Moreover, these studies have shown that AtGRXS17 has conserved functions in oxidative, heat, and cold/drought stress tolerance in several crop plant species.

ADVANTAGES:
-
Sustained growth during periods of elevated temperature
-Increased crop yield in times of large temperature fluctuations
-Potential broad application to many crop species
-Relative ease in deployment

PATENT STATUS:
-International Patent Protection (#14/241,992) filed in USA on February 28, 2014.

Additional Details

Owner

Kansas State University

Intellectual Property Protection

Pending Patent



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