Science Daily: Warmer nights alter the rice plant’s biological schedule, with hundreds of genes being expressed earlier than usual.
Rising nighttime temperatures are curbing crop yields for rice, and new research moves us closer to understanding why. The study found that warmer nights alter the rice plant’s biological schedule, with hundreds of genes being expressed earlier than usual, while hundreds of other genes are being expressed later than usual.
“Essentially, we found that warmer nights throw the rice plant’s internal clock out of whack,” says Colleen Doherty, an associate professor of biochemistry at North Carolina State University and corresponding author of a paper on the work.
“Most people think plants aren’t dynamic, but they are. Plants are constantly regulating their biological processes — gearing up for photosynthesis just before dawn, winding that down in the late afternoon, determining precisely how and where to burn their energy resources. Plants are busy, it’s just difficult to observe all that activity from the outside.”