April 10, 2015

Bacteria Tracked Feeding Nitrogen to Nutrient-Starved Plants

Scientists measured accelerated growth in plants colonized by bacteria that pull nitrogen from the air and release it into soil

With rising populations and changing climate conditions, the need for resilient and reliable crops has never been greater. Nitrogen—an essential element for plant growth—is often woefully absent in heavily farmed land. Earth’s atmosphere offers an overabundance of nitrogen, but how can it be safely and sustainably transferred into the soil? Nitrogen-eating bacteria may be the answer.

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