An extraordinary fungus has been discovered in the Dead Sea. But, how does it manage to thrive in such super-salty atmosphere? Once this mystery is decoded, it may open up new genetic approaches to creating crops that can tolerate saline soils. The fungus is named Eurotium herbariorum.
Most of the Earth’s organisms are far less tolerant of salt, and dehydrate and die when exposed to too much of it. But, it is amazing that it is able to tolerate the Dead Sea’s incredible salt content of 340 grams per liter, which is about 10 times saltier than ocean water.
Land that needs to be constantly irrigated gradually becomes more saline, and crop yields go down. And since, soil salinity is increasing in some parts of the world, to find a solution to this; researchers are interested in developing salt-tolerant food crops. Hope decoding the survival mystery of the salinity-resistant fungus will help researchers find a solution to crop cultivation on saline soil.
Via: New Scientist