Fascinating news - soybeans

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From Washington State University:

Soybean nitrogen breakthrough could help feed the world
Washington State University biologist Mechthild Tegeder has developed a way to dramatically increase the yield and quality of soybeans.

Her greenhouse-grown soybean plants fix twice as much nitrogen from the atmosphere as their natural counterparts, grow larger and produce up to 36 percent more seeds.

Tegeder designed a novel way to increase the flow of nitrogen, an essential nutrient, from specialized bacteria in soybean root nodules to the seed-producing organs. She and Amanda Carter, a biological sciences graduate student, found the increased rate of nitrogen transport kicked the plants into overdrive.

Their work, published recently in Current Biology, is a major breakthrough in the science of improving crop yields. It could eventually help address society’s critical challenge of feeding a growing human population while protecting the environment. See the paper at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982216306157.

“The biggest implication of our research is that by ramping up the natural nitrogen allocation process we can increase the amount of food we produce without contributing to further agricultural pollution,” Tegeder said. “Eventually we would like to transfer what we have learned to other legumes and plants that humans grow for food.”

Shades of Norman Borlaug - very wonderful work.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on October 12, 2016 8:03 PM.

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