Plants Produce Aspirin To Protect Themselves Against Heat Waves

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : July 21, 2022

Many people are worried about agricultural and parched plants due to the recent heat waves. It turns out that plants really make their own aspirin. Salicylic acid is usually known as aspirin.

To Cope With Heat Waves, Plants Produce Aspirin

Aspirin is a substance that plants make to defend themselves against a variety of environmental dangers. Plant life faces serious threats from insects, droughts, and intense heat. But by creating salicylic acid, plants are able to defend themselves.

Plants Produce Aspirin To Protect Themselves Against Heat Waves

Scientists even published a landmark work recently. It may provide new light on how plants control the production of salicylic acid. It might support researchers’ attempts to safeguard plant species that are at risk from climate change.

Researchers intend to adapt their knowledge of how plants generate aspirin under stress to many other kinds of plants. They also include those grown for food, as well as those grown for feed, using Arabidopsis as a model plant. Jin-Zheng Wang is the co-first author of the new study and a plant geneticist at UCR. Wang stated, “We’d really want to be able to use the discovered knowledge to enhance crop resistance.” The food supply in our increasingly hot and bright world will depend on that. “

All living things develop reactive oxygen species, or ROS, as a result of environmental stress. Plants and people are included in this. For instance, human skin releases ROS. Human skin is released when exposed to the sun on a hot day. They burn and freckle. Similar to humans, plants can die from excessive ROS levels.

The amount of poison is crucial in this situation. ROS has a significant role in plant cell activity at low levels but not at excessive ones. They can cause plant death. According to Wang, it is made possible by ROS at non-lethal levels. RoS has two sides to them.

The study also discovered sugar-making machinery in plant cells. The plant cells produce an initial warning molecule known as MEcPP in response to heat, unrelenting sunlight, or drought. MEcPP buildup causes plants to generate aspirin. In the end, it triggers a series of defensive responses in the cells.

Wilhelmina van de Ven is a plant biologist at UCR and a co-first research author. Wilhelmina stated, “It’s like plants employ a painkiller for aches and pains, much like we do.” The acid safeguards the chloroplasts, which are the sites of photosynthesis in plants. The process of turning water and carbon dioxide into sugars for energy is called photosynthesis.

Katayoon Dehesh is a senior author and UCR professor of molecular biochemistry. As Katayoon stated, “Increasing plants’ capacity to produce salicylic acid represents a step forward in combating the effects of climate change on daily life.” “Salicylic acid aids plants resist stresses that are becoming more predominant with climate variation.”

She also says, “Those effects go beyond just what we eat.” By trapping carbon dioxide, plants purify the air we breathe and provide us with shade. It serves as a home for a variety of creatures. The advantages of ensuring their survival are multiplicative. “

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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