Plants are defenseless to whatever form of harsh conditions that may befall on them. Unless they are planted inside green houses where the conditions are highly controlled, they are at the mercy of the climate, insects, birds, big animals and more.
Drought and typhoons are two of the major climate conditions that may affect them most but don’t count out pests and diseases.
All these costs the industry billions of dollars annually. However the most destructive of them all are droughts. Droughts will be easier to deal with if there’s a way of telling when it will strike.
Drought is a source of a major environmental stress condition which affects plant growth and development. Droughts cause plants to release abscisic acid a form of plant defense mechanism that retards its growth which at the same time reduces its water requirements. The hormone will close all cells in leaves, called stomata, which serves to reduce water loss.
ABA can be used to help plants survive droughts but it would cost too much to produce it. It’s short lived and therefore would be useless for agricultural use. There are several researches afoot hat are trying to produce synthetic ABA that will make plants tolerate the effects of the drought. It will take some time to produce it and at a high cost.
Another chemical, mandipropamid, nonetheless is now used widely in agriculture. This is to control late fruit and vegetable blight. Scientists are trying to determine whether there’s a way for plants to react to mandipropamid as just like it does to ABA. If they do will it increase their survival prospect against drought? Yes, according to a team of scientists, led by Sean Cutler at the University of California, Riverside.
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