Agbio firm Rosetta Green said this week that it has successfully completed a preliminary study showing that the addition of a specific microRNA could improve the drought tolerance of potato plants.
In the experiment, potato plants expressing a miRNA identified as RGN-131 were found to demonstrate “significantly improved survival and tolerance to drought conditions compared to the control plants,” the company said.
After being subjected to drought, the miRNA-expressing plants and the control plants were irrigated normally, according to Rosetta Green. “Only plants expressing RGN-131 successfully recovered and continued to develop, while the control plants completely wilted and could not continue to grow.”
The miRNA shop said it intends to test the function of RGN-131 in other crops such as wheat, corn, rice, soy, and cotton.
Rosetta Green was spun out of miRNA diagnostics firm Rosetta Genomics in 2008, and became a publicly traded company in Israel earlier this year (GSN 2/24/2011).