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11 Sep

Pretreating soil with ethanol protects plants from drought, study finds

Ethanol can help plants survive in times of drought says a new study conducted at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science in Japan. Led by Motoaki Seki, researchers show that adding ethanol to soil allows plants, including rice and wheat, to thrive after two weeks without any water. As ethanol is safe, cheap, and widely available, this finding offers a practical way to increase food production all over the world when water is scarce, without the need for costly, time-consuming, and sometimes controversial production of genetically modified plants. The study was published August 25 in Plant and Cell Physiology. The foreseeable future includes a steadily rising population and climate change-induced increases in water shortages, two conditions that will inevitably lead to...
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