Plant Hormone to Increase Cold-Weather Resistance

 Common thale cress ( Arabidopsis thaliana ). Credit:

Common thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana). Credit:

     According to a recent study from the Technical University Munich (TUM), brassinosteroids-- previously believed to solely be a growth hormone-- increases a plant's resistance to frost. Common thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) was used for the early stages of the study; unable to move when environmental conditions change, the common cress's sophisticated molecular adaptations allow it to weather low temperatures.

     In the study some plants were modified to no longer be able to make or recognize the signal of the brassinosteroids; those plants, compared to the unmodified plants which were able to produce brassinosteroids, displayed clear signs of damage when reaching temperatures as low as six degrees below zero.

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