BEIJING- An international team of researchers have found how a type of duckweed copes with water pollution.

Researchers from the Shanghai Jiaotong University, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Rutgers University-New Brunswick in the U.S. and Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences used a new approach called “long-read, whole-genome sequencing” to study the genome of Spirodelapolyrhiza, a species of small and fast-going duckweed found worldwide.

According to the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers found that the immune system of Spirodelapolyrhiza adapts to polluted environments in a way that differs from land plants.

The new DNA sequencing approach helps researchers identify genes that are responsible for the aquatic plant’s protection against a wide range of harmful microbes and pests, including waterborne fungi and bacteria.