this year, the intergovernmental group of experts on climate change reported that more than 500 million people worldwide live in regions already degraded due to deforestation, changes in weather conditions and excessive use of arable land.
In the long-term consequences of ineffective management of land resources coupled with critical climate change can be catastrophic, up to the famine.
to solve this problem, many researchers deal with the development of urban agriculture. Specialists attracted by the opportunity to provide citizens with food while reducing the costs of farming and transportation of products.
of Course, we are not talking about how to establish kitchen gardens in city parks. In this case the beds should not occupy a lot of space, and the plants themselves, it is important to adapt to growth in unusual conditions.
a Promising solution proposed by an international team of scientists, led by Zachary Lippman (Zachary Lippman) from a Laboratory in cold spring Harbor, USA.
This private nonprofit organization is famous for its experiments to create “superette”. For example, earlier research group of Lippmann stripped exotic physalis commercial disadvantages, and found a way to increase the yield of tomatoes and get the giant fruits of this plant.
In the new work, researchers have adapted the tomatoes to growth in urban conditions. Using genetic modification, scientists have obtained a plant with small fruits growing in bunches, like grapes.
According to experts, these tomatoes can be grown even on the roof of a skyscraper, even in space.
tool CRISPR, the team modified two of the genes that control the rate of reproductive growth and plant size, and another gene that controls the length of the stem.
as a result, the tomato started early to bloom and bear fruit, but at a certain stage of its stems were no longer RAsti.
during the tests, scientists realized that in order to maintain the yield as well as flavor and aroma, they will have to sacrifice the size of not only the Bush but also fruit. (Because if you change at least one setting rebuilt the whole system and a living organism is no exception.)
the Resulting “urban” plants similar to a lush bouquet, which instead of flowers – small cherry tomatoes.
the Harvest of new varieties of tomatoes ripen in less than 40 days. For comparison, early-maturing traditional varieties begin to sing about 85-90 days from germination, the most recent – at 130-140 day.
“Our work shows that we can produce [agricultural] culture in new ways, without the need to break ground or add an excessive amount of fertilizer flowing into rivers, says Professor Lippmann. Is an additional approach to feed people at the local level and reduce carbon footprint.”
However, some tomatoes can not eat. So the team is improving its technology to other plants, such as kiwi. The authors hope that their initiative will be supported by other researchers.
by the Way, Lippmann also said that the development of a compact and sverhskorostey cultures are already interested in NASA. In Department do not exclude that future explorers of Mars will transform the “city” tomatoes in the “space”. Perhaps the plantation will be split directly into spaceships. But the question yet to be explored in more detail.
On the work done, the team reported in a paper presented in the journal Nature Biotechnology.
earlier, the “Vesti.Science” (nauka.vesti.ru) talked about “delicious” genes that would make the tomatoes sweet and fresh smell, but also about why one should not store tomatoes in the refrigerator.
we Also wrote about how scientists have “hacked” photosynthesis to increase yield.