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Drought Tolerant Crop

Drought Tolerant Crop:

A study has noted that a common weed named “Portulaca oleracea”, commonly known as purslane, offers important clues about creating drought-tolerant crops in a world beset by climate change.

  • Yale University scientists integrated two metabolic pathways to produce a novel type of photosynthesis that enables the weed to withstand drought while remaining highly ‘productive’.
  • Purslane possesses evolutionary adaptations that allow it to be both highly productive and drought tolerant.
  • It is mostly an annual, but it may be perennial in the tropics.
  • Stems are glabrous, fleshy, purplish-red to green, arising from a taproot, often prostrate, forming mats.
  • It is most common in the temperate and subtropical regions, although it extends into the tropics and higher latitudes.
  • It is common in fields, gardens, vineyards, lawns, driveways, dunes, beaches, salt marshes, waste areas, eroded slopes, bluffs and riverbanks.
  • It competes for resources with many field crops, particularly herbaceous species that are germinating or growing in competition.
  • Affected crops include: asparagus, red beets, celery, crucifers, cotton, maize, onions, potatoes, rice, soyabeans, sugarcane, tomatoes and wheat.
  • It has a wide tolerance of photoperiod, light intensity, temperature, moisture and soil type.
  • Seeds germinate under conditions that enhance the survival of seedlings.
  • The species is self-compatible.

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