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Bacterial discovery could help crops withstand salty soils

Researchers have produced plants that can withstand salty soil, a potential game-changer for global food security.

Their study, led by Brigham Young University in the United States, found that plants that were treated with a certain type of bacteria could grow healthily in soils treated with 1% salt – conditions that would kill or seriously undermine the growth of regular, untreated plants.

This is a boon, because around the world a dire combination of intensive farming practices and drought are making soils increasingly salty and unsuitable for crops. This new discovery could give plants a kind of armor against these hostile conditions, and boost food production.