5-speed listening (Level 1)

Scientists change plants sunblock to grow more crops






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Biologists have a new way to increase the size of crops by 20 per cent. They changed the thing in plants that is used in photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the when plants use sunlight to change carbon dioxide into oxygen. This lets us breathe. The scientists found a way for plants to use the energy they get from sunlight better. Professor Stephen Long said his team is changing the genes in crops such as rice, wheat, maize and soybean.

The scientists changed the thing plants use to protect themselves from the Sun. Plants turn energy into heat when they get too hot. However, they do this even when it is cloudy. The scientists put copies of the heat-loss gene into plants. These help plants to quickly return to using energy to grow. Professor Long said if crops can produce 20 per cent more food, it will help the food supply in the future.

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