Scientists sequester the duckweed genome and discover genes that protect them from parasites

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Studying how aquatic plants deal with pollution can be useful to understand how wastewater can be treated more efficiently or even to produce biofuels and for other applications at the biotechnological level. This is the goal of a group of researchers from the Waksman Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

The researchers followed the DNA of the Spirodela, one of 37 species of water lentils, small aquatic plants that live on the surface of the water and that grow very fast when they are in the right conditions.

Researchers have identified the genes of these aquatic plants that protect them from a wide range of parasites, both fungi and bacteria. This study may be useful to make the cultivation of lentils with water even more efficient.

The latter could, in fact, be used in bioreactors that recycle waste that can help in the production of medicines and antibiotics and in the treatment of agricultural and industrial wastewater. They can also be used to produce biofuels, including ethanol.

Not to mention that this small seedling can also be very useful food because it is rich in proteins and minerals, not only for humans but also for farm animals.

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Janice Walker
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