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Tropical plants fight drought by interacting with specific microbes

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When drought occurs with climate change, plants are forced to make changes that affect the soil organic matter around plant roots, or the rhizosphere.

Researchers at the University of Arizona and the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, a Department of Energy user facility, recently examined how three tropical plants interact with rhizosphere microbes during drought. The team discovered that even in times of drought, plants can maintain specific microbial partnerships, revealing a new level of resilience.

The study is unique in that it highlights how tropical plants and their associated bacterial communities within the rhizosphere respond to drought conditions. This knowledge opens the door to using plant-associated microbes to enable plants to better cope with drought conditions. It also provides better understanding and preparation strategies for the drought-related impacts of climate change on plant health.

Learn more about this newly published research.



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