Microbe-coated seeds survive salty growing conditions in new study

contender snap bush bean lrg
Image: Southern Exposure

Researchers at Florida International University have found coating seeds with a fungus and a bacterium could help valuable crops block the one-two punch of saltier groundwater and soil.

The salt-sensitive snap bean, which contributes more than $105 million to Florida’s economy, is particularly at risk. It is grown in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, coastal communities where underground aquifers used for irrigation and drinking water are threatened by rising seas and saltwater intrusion.

Coating its seeds with the bacteria rhizobium or the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi helped snap beans fight wilting and nutritional issues associated with saltier conditions that can lower crop yield.

Related article:  Destructive diets: Are we eating Earth's large animals to extinction?

Read full, original article: Bacteria, fungus combo can help crops fight salty conditions

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