Penn State researchers determine flavonoid compounds help sorghum’s frost tolerance

August 11, 2020 |

In Pennsylvania, flavonoid compounds—produced by the roots of some sorghum plants—positively affect soil microorganisms, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest the discovery is an early step in developing a frost-resistant line of the valuable crop for North American farmers. That is important because sorghum is a crop that can respond to climate change because of its high water- and nitrogen-use efficiency.

Together, the researchers are testing whether interactions between those flavonoids and microorganisms in the root zone can lead to the development of sorghum varieties and compatible soil microbial additions to provide resistance to cold and frost. A collaborative effort between the two research groups enables them to connect the prevalence of plant-associated microbiomes, plant genetics and flavonoids.

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Category: Research

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