Extreme environments as sources of fungal endophytes mitigating climate change impacts on crops in Mediterranean-type ecosystems
Societal Impact Statement:
Climate change is predicted to increase drought and soil salinity in Mediterranean-type ecosystems (MTEs), posing a significant threat to global food security. Genetic modification of crops to counteract this threat is expensive and has not met with universal support, and alternatives are hence needed to enhance crop production in MTEs. Here, fungal endophytes from the Atacama Desert, High Andes and Antarctica inoculated onto three crops were found to alleviate the negative effects of drought and salinity on plant performance. The study concludes that extremophile endophytes might be used to enhance crop performance as the climate of MTEs changes over future decades.
Authors: Ballesteros, Gabriel I., Newsham, Kevin K. ORCID record for Kevin K. Newsham, Acuña-Rodríguez, Ian S., Atala, Cristian, Torres-Díaz, Cristian, Molina-Montenegro, Marco A.