Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

Early bud-break genes and climate change


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.

Early bud-break

  • 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?

  1. To enable them to withstand drought
  2. To increase the nutritive value of the produce
  3. To enable them to grow and do photosynthesis in spaceships and space stations
  4. 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

Answer: (d)

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.

EBB genes

  • 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.

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