How Do Plants Deal with Dry Days?
Plants regularly face dry conditions. Not having enough water poses a serious threat to a plant’s ability to grow and develop or even just survive! If plants die we will not have enough food to eat! How do plants manage to survive during water shortages? They must somehow be able to sense, respond and adapt to changes is water availability. They do this through a range of adaptations that allow for a plant to combat water shortages. A plant’s morphological armour is mainly focused on decreasing water loss and increasing water storage. Their physiological and biochemical responses however are very complex. These can include changes regulating their actual growth and the ability to protect themselves against toxic compounds accumulating during dry periods. Inevitably all of their responses are directly controlled by the plant’s genes. If we can unravel the genetic code involved in protecting plants against drought we might in the future make genetically modified crops that can withstand global warming and climate changes.