Biotech Updates

Study Says Some Crops are Less Nutritious as CO2 Levels Rise

May 14, 2014

A new study conducted by researchers from eight institutions in Australia, Israel, Japan, and the United States report that as the atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels rise this century, some grains and legumes will become significantly less nutritious than they are today.

The researchers looked at various varieties of wheat, rice, field peas, soybeans, maize, and sorghum grown in fields with atmospheric carbon dioxide levels like those expected in the middle of this century. Their experiments revealed that zinc and iron went down significantly in wheat, rice, field peas, and soybeans. Wheat and rice also saw notable declines in protein content at higher CO2 levels.

University of Illinois plant biology professor Andrew Leakey, one of the authors of the study said that more research is needed to determine how crops grown in developing regions of the world will respond to higher atmospheric CO2, where food security is already an issue.

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