Professor Eduardo Blumwald is on the research team. He says they inserted a gene into the tobacco plants that made them more drought-resistant.
"What we tried to do is to interfere with that natural process and it worked because what we have done is we made the plant much fitter to survive."
Researchers were able to delay the shedding of leaves triggered by water shortage. Blumwald says they hope to get similar results with crops such as tomatoes, rice and wheat.