Barley—in spite of the drought



To avoid global catastrophe, scientists are trying to find plants that can successfully withstand high temperatures, to grow with lack of moisture and even to give a decent crop. How do you think what the representative of the agricultural flora has drawn the attention of researchers?

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What first comes to mind? Okay, I will not torment you, the saving culture is barley! He, though, and not worth it in first place among the grain crops, but more widespread. This plant is fine and growing as on the Tibetan plateau at an altitude of over 4000 meters, and in Africa. Scientists chose this culture, because of its genetic plasticity and is an amazing adaptive mechanisms.

Barley, which is grown in regions with a hot climate is characterized by specific features. Its leaves and stems have a special red pigmentthat protects plants from excessive amounts of ultraviolet light, and the hairsfacilitate uniform diffusion of light and prevent evaporation. In addition, the flowering period in the warm is much faster than in other areas. This feature allows farmers to harvest before the main heat.



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Scientists have intensively investigated genome,allowing to shorten the growing period, the impact of the environment on the mechanisms that it regulates, and soon brought out varieties which will give a good crop in arid areas. It is assumed that a hectare of such barley will be possible to obtain 500kg. of grain. Of course, for example, German landowners have with such a piece of nearly 10 tons, but in the circumstances it more than enough.



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At the moment, scientists are conducting a number of studies in the arid regions of Syria, to achieve a decent yield and to check the resistance to the hot climate of this unique plant. And this is not the end, on the basis of these studies they plan to withdraw and new varieties of other grainsthat will be as successful to resist drought and give higher yields. If they manage to find a solution to this problem, then mankind will not have to fight hunger in the future.

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