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  A rice to grow on beaches

A team lead by Dr Arun Lahiri Majumder at the Bose Institute in Calcutta has developed a strain of rice and mustard that can tolerate high levels of salinity. The discovery can lead to the hundreds of square miles land by India’s coast producing food crops.

The team discovered a wild rice -porteresia coarcata- that grows in the mangroves of Sunderbans, Bengal and isolated from it, inositol synthase, an enzyme that enables salt tolerance in mangrove species. Inositols are said to enable all manner of plants to withstand salinity. The Institute is currently raising salt tolerant rice and mustard in its laboratory. Patents are pending.News report Technical abstract