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Rice plants may help clean wastewater from farms

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

plants can be used to clean draining from farms -- which contain pesticides -- before it gets into rivers, lakes, and streams, scientists suggest.

Researchers wanted to stop pesticides from getting into outside the farm in a way that was easy and cost-efficient for farmers.

"We wanted something that was common, that could be applied in a lot of different places, but something that's non-invasive," said Matt Moore, a at the

Researchers planted four fields, two with and two without They then flooded those fields with a mix of three kinds of pesticides plus that together is a lot like runoff during a storm. They did this for two years in a row.

They found that the levels of all three pesticides were lower in fields where they'd planted How much it dropped ranged from 85 per cent to 97 per cent, depending on which they measured.

Rice can do this through -- using plants and their roots to clean up water.

In real life, this pesticide-cleaning ability of rice could be used in a few ways.

Farmers could plant rice in drainage ditches already on their farms, which would "let rice clean off water that runs off into your field before it runs into a river, lake, or stream," Moore said.

Additional research is required to find whether the end up in the edible part of the rice plant -- the rice grain -- itself.

If it doesn't, the rice could be that natural water cleaner while also being a

"It's potentially huge for developing countries to be able to use this as a crop and water cleaning technology," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, December 08 2018. 12:55 IST