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FAO-IAEA Project Sends Crop Seeds to Space to Develop Climate-Resilient Varieties

By Jean-Paul MacDonald,

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have collaborated on a project that involves sending crop seeds to space to

develop climate-resilient varieties. The project aims to address the challenges posed by climate change to global food security.

The seeds, which include varieties of wheat, rice, and maize, were sent to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the Joint Experimental Project (JEP) in 2021. The seeds were exposed to cosmic radiation and microgravity, which may induce mutations that could lead to the development of new, climate-resilient traits.

Upon their return to Earth, the seeds will be planted and evaluated to determine if any of the mutations that occurred during their time in space resulted in useful changes. If successful, these seeds could lead to the development of new crop varieties that are better adapted to the challenges of a changing climate.

The FAO-IAEA project is an innovative approach to developing climate-resilient crop varieties. By harnessing the unique conditions of space to induce mutations, the project aims to accelerate the development of new crop varieties that can help feed a warming world.

The FAO-IAEA project highlights the importance of innovative approaches to addressing the challenges posed by climate change to global food security. By exploring new ways to develop crop varieties, we can ensure that we have the tools we need to feed a growing population in a changing climate.

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