Researchers show potential for improved water-use efficiency in field-grown plants

  • 11.08.2022
  • Phys.Org

Water deficit is currently one of the most significant limiting factors for global agricultural productivity, a factor further exacerbated by global climate change, according to a 2019 water report from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. As a result, researchers worldwide have been working to improve water-use efficiency in crops to better cope with water-scarce conditions.

In a recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Botany, a team from the University of Illinois, the Volcani Center (Agricultural Research Organization, Israel), and the University of Cambridge found that by overexpressing a sugar-sensing enzyme, called hexokinase, in field-grown tobacco plants, they could improve intrinsic water-use efficiency (iWUE) without decreasing photosynthetic rates or biomass production.