Gene research yields drought resistant crops

file0001692576819Genetic modification at Michigan State University may have yielded drought resistant plants.

Researchers say the US experienced 17 billion dollars worth of crop loss in 2012 due to drought.

The initial tests of corn plants given a drought resistant gene show the plants can survive up to 12 days without water in a greenhouse environment.

Kyung-Hwan Han is the lead researcher on the project. He said so far the gene has been successful in corn and potatoes.

“We do know from the literature that this gene works the same way in rice so I suppose this gene can work the same way in all crops.”

Han said he is hopeful that this technology will help reduce crop loss.

He said this year his team will be expanding their research to field tests to better understand the nuances of how the gene works in different environments.