Legume gene reveals bacteria-nitrogen trick

Stanford University researchers suggest how to make agriculture more sustainable. Molecular biologist Sharon Long explains, “We have discovered a new biological process by which leguminous plants control behavior of symbiotic bacteria. These plants have a specialized protein processing system that generates specific protein signals. These were hitherto unknown, but it turns out they are critical to cause nitrogen fixation.”

A new understanding about the rhizobium bacteria could lead to methods for increasing soil productivity while reducing fertilizer use and avoiding ensuing runoff problems. Read more here.

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