14 March 2023

Dancing to a different tune, can we switch from chemical to biological nitrogen fixation for sustainable food security?

Min-Yao Jhu,Giles E. D. Oldroyd - PLOS Biology, 2023


Our current food production systems are unsustainable, driven in part through the application of chemically fixed nitrogen. We need alternatives to empower farmers to maximise their productivity sustainably. Therefore, we explore the potential for transferring the root nodule symbiosis from legumes to other crops. Studies over the last decades have shown that preexisting developmental and signal transduction processes were recruited during the evolution of legume nodulation. This allows us to utilise these preexisting processes to engineer nitrogen fixation in target crops. Here, we highlight our understanding of legume nodulation and future research directions that might help to overcome the barrier of achieving self-fertilising crops.

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