Video: Solving the world’s drought problem

Resurrection plant before and after water

Resurrection plants come back to life within 24 hours – watch the video above to see how (Credit: SPL) Watch the video in BBC

Could ‘resurrection plants’ be the future of food?

Source: BBC

When she was a child, Jill Farrant, a molecular physiologist based at the University of Cape Town, came across an unusual plant. It seemed dead, yet when the rain fell from the sky, it sprung back to life. Her father didn’t believe her.

What Farrant saw was a “resurrection plant”, which can survive with no water for months to years. Seeing how quickly the plants recover is remarkable sight (Watch a timelapse in the video above at 1:30).

Now Farrant hopes to tap these abilities to transform food production. Resurrection plants have many of the same genes in their roots and leaves as seeds, so now she is trying to work out how to switch those genes in wheat, rice and maize crops so that they can survive droughts. See her explain how in the video at the top of the page.

When she was a child, Jill Farrant, a molecular physiologist based at the University of Cape Town, came across an unusual plant. It seemed dead, yet when the rain fell from the sky, it sprung back to life. Her father didn’t believe her.

drought-2

What Farrant saw was a “resurrection plant”, which can survive with no water for months to years. Seeing how quickly the plants recover is remarkable sight (Watch a timelapse in the video above at 1:30).

Now Farrant hopes to tap these abilities to transform food production. Resurrection plants have many of the same genes in their roots and leaves as seeds, so now she is trying to work out how to switch those genes in wheat, rice and maize crops so that they can survive droughts.

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