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Engineered epiphytic plants that require no watering and can be eaten whole

Image credit: Internet Geography

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Sep 26, 2021
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Genetically modify an epiphyte species of plant to make it an ideal harvest crop in areas affected by water scarcity.

Epiphytes are also called air plants. They are not parasitic and attach to other plants or objects merely for physical support. They have no attachment to the ground or other obvious nutrient sources.

Genetic modifications
  • maximize the plant's ability to pull moisture out of the air
  • remove its ability to produce substances that are toxic to humans
  • increase its ability to store glucose throughout all its parts
  • make all of its parts edible (nothing goes to waste)
  • increase its ability to fix and store all minerals that are essential to humans (calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur)
  • add the ability for the plant to produce all vitamins that are essential to humans (A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, B6, B12, and folate)
  • add the ability for the plant to produce fatty acids that are essential to humans (omega 3 alpha-linolenic acid and omega 6 linoleic acid)
  • increase its ability to fix nitrogen from the air
  • make it pleasant tasting
  • make it fast growing
  • make it resistant to local pests
  • what else?

Why?
  • To help sustain people in areas that are affected by water scarcity.
  • A no-maintenance harvest crop for any climate.
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General comments

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni2 months ago
It's a good idea. The only hindrance I see is that the areas affected by water scarcity also have near-zero humidity. The air is so dry that light rains evaporate mid-air and do not reach the ground. The winds blow humid air out replacing it with dry air. Even if we increase the moisture absorption capability of an epiphyte, there may not be enough water in the surrounding air.
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