Biotech News

   

Genetically engineered self-fertilizing crops in development

Sep 21, 2016

A handful of biologists are working to endow major crops with the ability to “fix” nitrogen from the air into a biochemically usable form, a talent that is currently limited to certain microbes—and is essential to life.

Fixed nitrogen is a key ingredient in important biomolecules, including amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. And, for now, farmers have to laboriously supply it by applying fertilizer or planting legumes, which host nitrogen-fixing bacteria in their roots. Altering cereals to produce their own nitrogen would be a tour de force of biotechnology. But it could help solve two big problems: the overuse of artificial fertilizer, which can pollute aquifers or water bodies, and the shortage of fertilizer that plagues small farmers in the developing world.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: The nitrogen fix

Source: The Science
By Erik Stokstad