Salty soil is no problem for these tomatoes, thanks to some microbial helpers

Science | AAAS | 10/8/2019 | Staff
blacky (Posted by) Level 3
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There’s no better way to eat a fresh tomato than by adding a little salt. But when growing these sumptuous fruits (or vegetables, depending on your perspective), salt in the soil or salty irrigation water has been a big no-no. Until now.

Plant scientists in the Middle East have discovered that adding a desert root fungus, Piriformospora indica—isolated first in India—to the soil protects the tomato from salt’s damaging effects. They planted tomatoes in a greenhouse similar to what a commercial grower might do, half in soil with fungi in it. For 4 months, they watered about half the tomatoes with and without fungus in the soil with water about one-third as salty as seawater. The tomato’s leaves from infected plants made more of an enzyme the removes...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Science | AAAS
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