London, June 3 : US geneticists have come up with an idea on how make the common grass bahiagrass (Paspalum notatutri) more suitable for use in gardens, and for planting along roadsides.
Fred Altpeter of the University of Florida in Gainesville says that the popularity of this grass lies in the fact that it flourishes in poor-quality soil, is resistant to many insects, and tolerates conditions of drought and heat.
He points out that the bahiagrass grows 60cm seed heads during the summer, and need to be mowed regularly.
The researcher further says that the grass has a low-density growth pattern, which allows weeds to invade.
Altpeter says that both these problems can be solved just by adding one gene to bahiagrass from the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, which is considered to be one of the favourite plants of every geneticist.
He says that the gene called Arabidopsis ATHB 16 protein stops the growth of seed heads, and encourages the grass to spread out more underground.
According to New Scientist magazine, the genetically modified plant has been found to perform well in tests.