Crop Biotech Update

MIT Scientists Seek to Develop Self-fertilizing Crops, Combat Climate Change

April 27, 2022
Photo Source: MIT

Researchers from various fields of expertise at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are working together to reduce agriculture-driven emissions, combat climate change, and produce healthier crops. This multidisciplinary project titled “Revolutionizing agriculture with low-emissions, resilient crops” is one of the five flagship winners in the Climate Grand Challenges competition, which aims to tackle complex climate challenges and deliver timely revolutionary solutions.

“Our team's research seeks to address two connected challenges: first, the need to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions produced by agricultural fertilizer; second, the fact that the yields of many current agricultural crops will decrease, due to the effects of climate change on plant metabolism,” said Christopher Voigt, project lead and professor in MIT's Department of Biological Engineering. “We are pursuing six interdisciplinary projects that are each key to our overall goal of developing low-emissions methods for fertilizing plants that are bioengineered to be more resilient and productive in a changing climate,” he added.

The project includes finding ways to transfer legumes' self-fertilizing ability to cereal crops to revolutionize the sustainability of food production.

Read more from MIT.

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