A team of researchers used the Canadian Light Source (CLS) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) to show that cuticular wax—a waxy layer that covers exterior surfaces of plants, much like human skin—provides a barrier against low temperatures and dehydration.
While numerous studies have established the role of cuticular wax in impacting drought resistance, few studies have examined its role in plant frost resistance and even fewer have examined both, said Dr. Karen Tanino with the College of Agriculture and Bioresource at USask. Her team’s findings were published recently in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
The ultimate goal of the research is to provide plant breeders with information that enables them to more efficiently select superior genetic lines and develop more climate-resistant crops, said Tanino.
Read more on the Canadian Light Source website
Image: The team studied a variety of Arabidopsis phenotypes during the project.