Climate change destroys plant immunity mechanisms

Climate change threatens not only the fauna, but also the flora irreparably

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Climate change destroys plant immunity mechanisms

"Rapid climate change caused by human activity is threatening global crop production and food security worldwide. In particular, the emergence of new infectious plant pathogens and the geographical expansion of plant disease incidence result in serious yield losses of major crops annually.

Since climate change has accelerated recently and is expected to worsen in the future, we have reached an inflection point where comprehensive preparations to cope with the upcoming crisis can no longer be delayed. Development of new plant breeding technologies including site-directed nucleases offers the opportunity to mitigate the effects of the changing climate.

Therefore, understanding the effects of climate change on plant innate immunity and identification of elite genes conferring disease resistance are crucial for the engineering of new crop cultivars and plant improvement strategies.

Here, we summarize and discuss the effects of major environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide concentration on plant immunity systems. This review provides a strategy for securing crop-based nutrition against severe pathogen attacks in the era of climate change." This is what was reported by the study Climate change impedes plant immunity mechanisms, published on the Frontiers in plant science.

Climatologists calculate that the release into the atmosphere of quantities of CO2 exceeding a certain limit value would lead to a series of incalculable events. Already a rise in temperatures of two degrees, set as the maximum limit by the Paris Agreements, could have negative effects for life on the planet.

If it will be maintained average emissions of approx. 40 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent, humanity has a few years left, depending on the carbon budget considered, before completely depleting the amount of CO2 available. After that it would no longer be allowed to emit any type of greenhouse gas, due to the earth system's ability to absorb such gases only in the long term.

To keep the climate system within conditions that guarantee the survival of the human species and of a large part of those currently living on planet Earth, it is therefore necessary to rapidly eliminate the emission of further greenhouse gases and remove those already in the atmosphere through so-called negative emissions .