ethanol helps plants better tolerate heat stress
Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

A dose of ethanol, better known as common alcohol, can enable plants to withstand heat stress that might otherwise kill them, RIKEN biologists have found. This could offer a low-cost way to make crops more resilient to the effects of climate change.

Global warming is increasing the risk of heat-related yield losses in agricultural crops worldwide. Discovering methods to reduce these losses could help protect the sustainability of agriculture.

Genetic engineering is a powerful technique to achieve this, but there is also a great need for lower-tech solutions that are easier and cheaper to implement. “We need to develop novel, simple and less expensive technologies because genetically modified plants are not readily available in all countries,” notes Motoaki Seki of the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science.

Pre-treating crops with safe chemical compounds is a promising approach for realizing this. Scientists are exploring this approach by investigating the ability of a variety of chemicals to make plants more tolerant of environmental stresses.

Now, Seki and his co-workers have found that simply applying ethanol to plants prior to heat exposure can make them more tolerant to heat. “External application of ethanol could be a simple, cheap and effective way to enhance heat tolerance in a variety of plants,” Seki says.

The team exposed lettuce and thale cress to a low concentration of ethanol in their soil for several days. Treated and untreated control plants were then briefly grown at temperatures high enough to induce heat stress. Only 10% of the untreated plants survived the heat stress, whereas up to 70% of the treated plants survived, indicating a very significant benefit from the ethanol.

The researchers also gained clues about the molecular mechanisms behind the effect. They identified a set of genes and biochemical processes activated by the ethanol treatment.

One feature of the response is increased production of a protein called Binding Protein-3, which is involved in stress adaptation in an organelle called the endoplasmic reticulum. This stress response is known as the unfolded protein response, as it mitigates the effects of misfolding of proteins that can occur during environmental stress.

Seki and his team intend to glean further insights into the mechanism. “Although we found the unfolded-protein response is involved, we now need to undertake further studies to reveal the undiscovered aspects of the ethanol-mediated network for environmental stress adaptation,” says Seki. Learning more about the mechanism could reveal ways to enhance the protective effect and perhaps fine-tune it to benefit a wider range of species.

The study is published in Plant Molecular Biology. More information: Akihiro Matsui et al, Ethanol induces heat tolerance in plants by stimulating unfolded protein response, Plant Molecular Biology (2022). DOI: 10.1007/s11103-022-01291-8 Provided by RIKEN Citation: Ethanol helps plants better tolerate heat stress (2022, September 30) retrieved 30 September 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-09-ethanol-tolerate-stress.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Keyword: Ethanol helps plants better tolerate heat stress

TECH'S NEWS RELATED

Pebble Smartwatches are Probably Getting Their Last Update From Google

Google Releases 4.4.3 Update for Pebbles Version 4.4.3 Might be Pebble’s Last Update Google is releasing an update for Pebble smartwatches, bringing support for the Pixel 7 series. The tech company is adding 64-bit support to the app. The new update makes Pebble smartwatches compatible with Pixel 7 and ...

View more: Pebble Smartwatches are Probably Getting Their Last Update From Google

Dell Black Friday Deals Sees Laptops Drop Up to $700 Off

Dell is Selling Laptops at a Massive $700 Discount Buyers Should Expect High Prices When Trying to Purchase High-End Laptops Buyers can See Up to 33% Discounts on Dell XRP 15 Laptop Spotted Selling for $700 Off at Just $2,199 XPS 15 Laptop Specs Include an Intel i9 CPU ...

View more: Dell Black Friday Deals Sees Laptops Drop Up to $700 Off

Apple Watch Saves Lives: Kidnapped Woman was Saved from Being Buried Alive by Veteran Ex-Husband

US Army Veteran Kidnapped Ex-Wife, Stabbed Her, and Buried Her Alive in the Woods The Ex-Wife was Able to Ask Help from a Stranger The Woman Used Her Apple Watch to Call 911 She was Dragged and the Apple Watch Destroyed The Ex-Husband is Scheduled to be Arraigned on ...

View more: Apple Watch Saves Lives: Kidnapped Woman was Saved from Being Buried Alive by Veteran Ex-Husband

Tree Rings Offer Insight Into Mysterious, Devastating Radiation Storms

A composite image showing a tree ring and flames – UQ researchers used tree ring data to model the global carbon cycle to challenge the common theory about Miyake Events. Credit: The University of Queensland New light has been shed on a mysterious, unpredictable, and potentially devastating kind of ...

View more: Tree Rings Offer Insight Into Mysterious, Devastating Radiation Storms

Elon took over Twitter. Then some users began testing chaos

Elon Musk. (File image) Confusion, concern, conspiracies, celebration. In the hours after Elon Musk took control of Twitter, reaction on the platform ranged from triumph to despair. While no immediate policy changes had been announced by Friday afternoon, that didn’t stop users from cheering — or criticizing — what ...

View more: Elon took over Twitter. Then some users began testing chaos

Elon Musk says Twitter will form 'content moderation council'

Elon Musk has completed his $44 billion deal to take over Twitter Twitter’s new owner billionaire Elon Musk has said the social media company will form a content moderation council and any major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen after such a body has convened. Musk’s comments came ...

View more: Elon Musk says Twitter will form 'content moderation council'

Meta's oversight board open to discussing content moderation with Twitter

ETtechMeta Platforms Inc’s independent oversight board said on Friday it would “welcome the opportunity” to discuss Twitter’s plans on content moderation in more detail with the company.“Independent oversight of content moderation has a vital role to play in building trust in platforms and ensuring users are treated fairly,” the oversight ...

View more: Meta's oversight board open to discussing content moderation with Twitter

Microsoft Shares Fix For Outlook Login Issues

Microsoft Says They Are Trying To Work Around The Issue With Outlook Logins What Could Have Been The Potential Causes Of the Crash Microsoft is working on a way to solve the ongoing sign-in issue that affects some outlook users and customers. The login problem preventing users from accessing ...

View more: Microsoft Shares Fix For Outlook Login Issues

The 6 Best Google Pixel Watch features that make you say wow

China hopes rapid hydrogen energy push is as easy as riding a bike to aid economy, carbon-neutral goal

China launches satellite for in-orbit verification

Musk’s role as 'chief twit' knocks $10 billion from fortune

Bp Pulse and Hertz Team Up to Build Network of EV Fast Chargers in High-Demand Locations

Twitter Will Form A 'Content Moderation Council' Says Elon Musk

Tech war: China’s semiconductor ambitions face moment of reckoning as Washington launches all-out siege

Chinese researchers develop superstrong artificial silk

Walmart and Ikea continued to bleed in India as losses widen

Elon Musk Effect: Experts split on what Twitter takeover means for India

Pioneering rocker Jerry Lee Lewis dead at 87

Hungary inks blockchain pact

OTHER TECH NEWS