Researchers identify gene network that improves root growth in low-nitrogen soil

July 15, 2013 |

In Michigan, three Michigan Technological University scientists have come up with a new model for how genes interact and affect each other’s function. They also identified a network of genes that cause poplar roots to grow well in low-nitrogen soil.

The researcher’s goal was to find ways to produce plants that require less nitrogen. The scientists did a series of experiments over time under the same experimental conditions, to identify the genes involved in the changes they observed. Further analysis closed in on a gene called PtaNAC1, which when tweaked causes a 58% increase in root growth.

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