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Scientists discover how plants respond to elevated carbon dioxide levels [Registered]

Biologists at UC San Diego have solved a long-standing mystery concerning the way plants reduce the numbers of their breathing pores in response to rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. In a paper recently published in the online edition of Nature, they report the discovery of a new genetic pathway in plants, made up of four genes from three different gene families that control the density of breathing pores-or “stomata”-in plant leaves in response to elevated CO2 levels. Their discovery should help biologists better understand how the steadily increasing levels of CO2 in our atmosphere are affecting the ability…

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