Tiny organisms could help crops endure droughts

By Eileen Mignoni

There’s more to a lush green plant than meets the eye. Armies of tiny organisms called microbes live on and in leaves, stems, and roots. They help plants absorb nutrients, fight disease, and endure stresses like drought.

Now, a biotech startup called Indigo Agriculture is harnessing microbes to help farmers increase crop yields. The company collects microbes from plants around the world and identifies which ones help in drought conditions. For example, some microbes help plants retain water or stimulate root growth.

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