Fungus could be the key to protecting agriculture from climate change

Fungus could be the key to protecting agriculture from climate change

As the global population continues to grow at a rapid pace, so too does the need for food. You would think that food production would simply rise to meet the growing demands, and in an ideal world you’d be correct, but according to a new report from the United Nations, climate change is expected to devastate agricultural production in the years to come.

With the global population growing and the global agricultural output shrinking, it’s only a matter of time before the world is faced with a food crisis the likes of which has never been seen before. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. If there’s one thing that can be said about mankind, it’s that we possess a remarkable ability to adapt to our situation and prepare for the future.

Organizations from across the globe are already hard at work trying to research ways to combat the rise of extreme heat and droughts that are expected to devastate agricultural production in the next few decades. One such company is Seattle-based Adaptive Symbiotic Technologies, which believes that fungi may be the key to making agriculture both more productive and more resilient.

The fungi-based product is known as BioEnsure, a blend of microscopic fungi that the founder of the startup, Doctor Rusty Rodriguez and his wife, Doctor Regina Redman, first discovered back in the 1990s.

They were researching how certain plants were able to survive in the barren soil in certain areas of the Yellowstone National Park, where temperatures can reach as high as 150 °F. What the couple discovered was that fungi had colonized the plants and had essentially lent them extra resilience. When they took the plants to the lab and removed the fungi, they failed to grow under the same conditions.

Read more about the story at Wired.

 

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