Mankind already for a long time can change the genetic set of primitive microorganisms and plants. While scientists in the process, can obtain from them the necessary properties. For example, the increase in productivity or the production of substances for the pharmaceutical industry. But recently biologists from the Salk Institute (CA) went further and proposed to change the genetic code of plants in order to save the Earth from pollution.
What our planet is polluted?
For anybody not a secret that modern industry in the production process emits hundreds of tons of waste hydrocarbon fuels (mainly in the form of carbon dioxide). As transfers the edition of ScienceAlert, in order to live in the next few hundred years the planet was lost, to reduce the amount of emissions is not enough. We have long since crossed the “critical point”, when you could just improve the purification system of spent fuel for the factories.
As a full transition to clean energy in the near future is foreseen, then you need to start cleaning the Earth’s atmosphere from hydrocarbons. And American scientists suggest to slightly “modify” plants.
How plants cleanse the planet
Plants naturally capture carbon from the environment and store it underground in their root systems. Researchers from the US offer to “optimize” certain types of plants in order to collect more carbon from the atmosphere. The fact that in the course of their work, experts have found the gene EXOCYST70A3 is responsible for the development of the root system.
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For example, during genetic modification of the usual salad, scientists were able to ensure that the root system increased and deepened several times. This means that the amount of stored carbon dioxide from the atmosphere has also increased considerably.
“Reducing the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is one of the biggest challenges of our time, and for me personally it is very important to work on a solution,” said one of the authors of the project on cleaning of the atmosphere Wolfgang Busch. “We’re thrilled with the results. This is only the first step toward using plants to clean the atmosphere of the Earth.”
Of course, lettuce is a rather small representative of the terrestrial flora, but the experiments of scientists from the United States is just the beginning. More large plants with extensive root systems have the potential to be a real “natural factories” for removal of hydrocarbons from the atmosphere of our planet.