Peak performance: plant genetic strategies for s | According to the news

News — Alpine habitats present extreme challenges, including low temperatures, high UV radiation, and limited oxygen levels, which require unique adaptations from the plants that inhabit these regions. Despite their ecological importance, the genetic mechanisms behind these adaptations are not well understood. The study of these mechanisms is essential because it can lead to knowledge about plant resilience and survival strategies under environmental stress. Because of these challenges, it is imperative to conduct in-depth research to discover the genetic and physiological adaptations that enable plants to survive in such harsh conditions.

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and other institutions have published a study (DOI: 10.1093/hr/uhae077) on May 1, 2024, in Horticulture Researchthat reveals alpine plant genomic adaptations Triplostegia glandulifera. The study provides a comprehensive analysis of how this plant copes with the harsh conditions of high-altitude environments.

The study presents a detailed assembly of the genome of T. glandulifera and compares it with the field species Lonicera japonica. Researchers discovered a whole-genome duplication event in T. glanduliferaa, which increased the number of cold-related genes, increasing the plant’s ability to withstand cold stress. Key genes, such as CBFs AND LEAswere found to be highly expressed in T. glandulifera, playing a crucial role in cold tolerance. Additionally, the study identified a convergent downregulation of disease resistance genes among alpine plants, indicating an energy-saving strategy in environments with fewer pathogens. This reduction in immune-related genes reflects an adaptation to the alpine habitat, where energy conservation is vital for survival. Overall, the research provides valuable insights into the genetic basis of alpine adaptation, offering potential applications in improving plant resilience in extreme environments.

Dr. Zhi-Duan Chen, a leading scientist in plant genomics, noted: “This research provides unprecedented insights into the genetic adaptations of alpine plants. Understanding these mechanisms is crucial for the conservation of these species and can inform agricultural practices in challenging.”

The insights gained from this study could significantly influence conservation strategies for alpine plants, which are particularly sensitive to climate change. By identifying key genes involved in stress tolerance, researchers can develop new approaches to increase crop resilience in extreme environments. Furthermore, this knowledge can contribute to the cultivation and conservation of medicinal plants such as T. glanduliferaensuring their availability for future generations.





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Funding information

This work was supported by grants from the Science Fund for Creative Research Groups of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 32221001), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (General Program) (No. 32070233), the Research Development of National Key Program of China (No. 2023YFF0805800) and the Forestry Peak Discipline Construction Project of Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (No. 72202200205).

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Horticulture Research is an open access journal of Nanjing Agricultural University and is ranked number one in the Horticulture category of Journal Citation Reports™ by Clarivate, 2022. The journal is committed to publishing original research articles, reviews, perspectives, commentaries, correspondence articles and letters addressed editor related to all plants and major horticultural disciplines, including biotechnology, breeding, cell and molecular biology, evolution, genetics, interspecies interactions, physiology, and crop origins and domestication.

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