This plant is engineered to suck higher amounts of CO2

Jun 04, 2019, 7:50 AM EDT
(Source: Andrew Malone/flickr)
(Source: Andrew Malone/flickr)

California’s Salk Institute for Biological Studies is tweaking the genes of a plant to enhance its ability to store higher amounts of carbon-dioxide (CO2), an effort it claims, could reduce emissions by around 20 to 46 percent if implemented at global scale.

At the first blush, the “Harnessing Plants Initiative” sounds to be a generic, humble idea but the scientists involved in the project give strong reasons how and why it may work. The “Ideal Plant,” as they refer to it, will have a robust root system that will not only stockpile more CO2 but will also lock the gas into the soil even after decomposition, notes Dezeen.

The biologists at the institute plan to expand these genetic tweaks from model plant to six prevalent crops: corn, soybean, rice, wheat, cotton/cottonseed, and rapeseed/canola, which could be a potent tool against climate change while also offering better crop yields and making plants more resistant to the adverse impact of shifting climate, writes Salk.