The Future of Sunflowers

  • 28 March 2018
  • Author: Frederika Bain
  • Number of views: 4908
The Future of Sunflowers

Michael Kantar (Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences) is quoted in an article in the online journal Quartz, One Plant Has the Ability to Help Us Understand Climate Change, about the recent sequencing of the genome of the sunflower and its implications for understanding how plants can adapt to changing climactic conditions. Michael, who has studied perennial sunflowers as part of his project to increase awareness of the ecological and labor-cost benefits of perennial crops, explains that the great diversity amongst sunflower species means that many species of this plant already are adapted for the extreme conditions that may arise due to climate change. The species are also very adaptable to a variety of ecosystems. He also points to sunflowers’ “cultural acceptability” as a reason they make a good model species: they are grown throughout the world for their food value as well as their pleasing appearance.