The genetic treasure of the world’s most desolate desert can satisfy global hunger
Chile: Chile has the world’s toughest and most ruthless Atacama Desert, which is also the driest region on Earth. But the genetic treasures in the form of plants here can largely solve the nutritional problem not only in the present but also in future generations.
But surprisingly, agriculture and farming are still going on here due to the strange plants found here that are providing both food and nutrition in a very unfavorable condition.
Experts believe that a large area around the world is in the grip of heat and drought and by understanding the genetics of the plants here, agriculture can be promoted even in rapidly changing regions. Experts have begun serious research on the trees and plants that flourish in the Atacama Desert.
Dr. Gloria Corozi, a botanist at New York University, says that in the face of changing climate, genetic research is needed to grow edible crops in malnourished, hot and dry areas. He thinks it will be an important and effective way to end global hunger.
In this research, the scientists have really sifted the dust and after ten years of hard work, they have taken plant samples from 22 places that can be useful to human beings. All specimens of these plants and soil particles have been carefully brought to the laboratory and stored in liquid nitrogen for research. Detailed genetic synthesis of preserved plants will then be researched.
So far, the genetic sequences of 32 plants have been determined and they have been compared to 32 similar species that were very close. The goal of the experts was to somehow understand the genetic basis of amino acids, thanks to which plants thrive even in the scorching heat.
Then, with a relatively new technology, 256 genes were found that mutated and hardened the plants. Further details revealed that there were 59 genes that have been widely studied in plant biology.
That is, if these genes are implanted in a plant, they are able to withstand severe conditions in many ways, and this was the focus of their research. Research further shows that pulses, potatoes and other vegetables are also growing in the desert. This area seems to provide a genetic solution under which we can feed a large number of the population in the future.