The root of the matter

Phil LeDuc | Via Carnegie Mellon University | July 5, 2019

For most plants, saltwater is essentially poison—yet the mangrove drinks it, lives in it, and thrives in it.

This rare ability to survive in such inhospitable conditions is what first led Professors Alan Russell and Phil LeDuc, along with their Ph.D. student Adam Wood, to study the plant. The Carnegie Mellon University researchers were hoping to determine exactly what part of the plant is responsible for removing the salt from saltwater, but their findings led them to much more.

Members of the mangrove family can be found emerging on stilt-like roots from the swampy coastal shorelines of the tropics and subtropics. In these regions, they face not only a toxically saline environment, but also oxygen-poor, submerged soil… Continue reading.