As climate change ramps up, droughts are a major concern but scientists have found a gene in barely that may be able to help crops of the future survive dry seasons and give higher yields which will help push back against food scarcity.
The gene, HvMyB1, has been shown to help plants survive drought when it is prominently expressed. The gene was discovered in barley which isn’t an exciting plant but it is a staple food crop. Knowing this will allow more crops to be bred that exhibit this gene and therefor will be better able to survive dry conditions.
We’re already starting to see the effects of drought in many plants. Hot summers have lead to lower harvest rates which is not great and only expected to get worse. Although this is a small thing, it’s ramifications could be wide.