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Researchers gene-edit plants in order to fight climate change

Researchers gene-edit plants in order to fight climate change

Climate change is among the major threats to human population and researchers are coming up with numerous ways to fight it. A latest research has also now shown another way to fight climate change by gene-editing plants.

In order to address climate change and remove carbon emissions from our air, researchers at the Salk Institute’s Harnessing Plants Initiative have taken an organic approach and discovered a new gene that could help in this matter.

As per Futurism, plants naturally capture carbon dioxide from their environment and store it underground in their root systems. The more deep and strong the root system is, the more stable would be the carbon storage.

Scientists hack genes of plants to make them super-sized

The new study showed that the new gene named ‘EXOCYST70A3’ in the Thale Cress plant that determines how deep its roots grow in the soil. The team discovered that altering this gene by either turning it off or amplifying its activity could prompt the plant’s root system to grow more deeply, hence able to store more carbon.

This technique could not only potentially help in improving carbon storage, but also improve drought resistance and flood protection. The study published in the journal Cell stated that the researchers believe that the gene is not only limited to the Thale Cress plant, all plants contain the same gene or one similar to it, reported Vice.

“We are incredibly excited about this first discovery on the road to realizing the goals of the Harnessing Plants Initiative,” researcher Wolfgang Busch. “Reducing atmospheric CO2 levels is one of the great challenges of our time, and it is personally very meaningful to me to be working toward a solution.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019