New Technology Enables Crops to Take Nitrogen from Air
A new technology developed by The University of Nottingham enables all of the world's crops to take nitrogen from the air. Nitrogen fixation, the process by which nitrogen is converted to ammonia, is vital for plants to survive and grow. However, only a very small number of plants, such as legumes have the ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere with the help of nitrogen fixing bacteria. The vast majority of plants have to obtain nitrogen from the soil.
Professor Edward Cocking, director of The University of Nottingham's Centre for Crop Nitrogen Fixation, has developed a unique method of putting nitrogen-fixing bacteria into the cells of plant roots. This breakthrough came when he found a specific strain of nitrogen-fixing bacteria in sugarcane which he discovered could intracellularly colonise all major crop plants. This ground-breaking development potentially provides every cell in the plant with the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen.
For more information, read the news release available at http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/news/pressreleases/2013/july/world-changing-technology-enables-crops-to-take-nitrogen-from-the-air-.aspx.
This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)