From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Genetics and climate change
Mains level : Impacts of climate change on plant dynamics
Changing climate has transformed the time spring unfolds in front of us.
- Bud-break — which is when trees leaf out — has undergone a change.
- Several trees initiate bud-break too early or too late, which affects the harvest.
- Spring, for example, arrived earlier than usual in Kashmir this year due to higher temperatures in February and March.
- Gul-tour, a spring-flowering herb started blooming in mid-February in Kashmir. Its yellow flowers would usually blossom in March, heralding Spring.
Try this PYQ:
Q.Other than resistance to pests, what are the prospects for which genetically engineered plants have been created?
- To enable them to withstand drought
- To increase the nutritive value of the produce
- To enable them to grow and do photosynthesis in spaceships and space stations
- To increase their shelf life
Select the correct answer using the code given below
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 and 4 only
(c) 1, 2 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4
What causes early bud-break?
- This is why understanding the genetics of bud-break helps scientists modify or select crop varieties that can be more resilient to the climate threat.
- The properties of transcription factors are genes that regulate other genes by binding to deoxyribonucleic acid and giving activation instructions.
- It helps scientists determine what other genes might be involved in a process such as a bud-break.
- Researchers of the study had earlier identified transcription factors for early bud-break 1 (EBB1) and short vegetative phase (SVL), which directly interact to control bud-break.
- EBB1 is a positive regulator of bud-break, whereas SVL is a negative regulator of bud-break.
- Now, the research team has identified and characterized the early bud-break 3 (EBB3) gene.
Identified mechanism of Bud-break
- EBB3 is a temperature-responsive, positive regulator of bud-break that provides a direct link to activation of the cell cycle during bud-break.
- EBB3 provides a direct link through the signalling pathway for how these cells divide.
- The analysis reveals how particular genes activate through the season or in response to specific environmental factors.
Significance of the study
- New approaches for accelerated tree adaptation to climate change helps ensure bud-break happens at the right time each spring.
- Using their understanding of the genetic pathways that control bud-break, scientists hope to genetically modify crops to adapt to warmer winters and unpredictable frosts.