Lunch lecture by prof. Jill Farrant, SA.
- Climate change models predict that South Africa, and much of the tropical and mid latitude countries will be a desert by 2050 due to increased temperatures and declining rainfall
- Production of truly drought tolerant crops is becoming an imperative for food security. To date this has not been achieved.
- Resurrection plants survive the loss of 95% of cellular water for prolonged periods without dying and can thus serve as models for production of extremely drought tolerant crops.
Prof Farrant will explain how such plants are able to tolerate this extreme water loss and how she aims to use this knowledge to bioengineer crops with improved drought tolerance. Being sessile, plants survive environmental stresses, in part, by production of protective biochemicals, which humans have used in various applications. Jill will allude to some potential medicinal and cosmetic uses of resurrection plants.