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Silk Coating Improves Crop Growth in Salty Soil
Increasingly salty soil conditions, due to climate change, are rendering land unsuitable for crop growth around the world, but scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology may have found a solution to the problem. They recently developed a protective coating — consisting of silk, sugar and bacteria — that could help to cultivate seed growth in highly saline soil, potentially making these lands accessible to farming again.
As these scientists look for ways to apply the coating to more crops in an affordable way, gene editing is also providing solutions to a changing climate’s impact on agriculture. By making small changes to a crop or soil microbe’s DNA, this innovative breeding method could help make crops more resilient to the threats affecting the global food system.