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May 6, 2021

Alternative to Conventional Fertilizers: Fungi Could Manipulate Bacteria to Enrich Soil With Nutrients

Posted by in category: futurism

Researchers have discovered a group of soil bacteria that could yield alternatives to conventional fertilizers for enriching soil and improving crop yields.

A team of researchers from the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) has discovered a distinct group of bacteria that may help fungi and plants acquire soil nutrients. The findings could point the way to cost-effective and eco-friendly methods of enriching soil and improving crop yields, reducing farmers’ reliance on conventional fertilizers.

Researchers know that arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi establish symbiotic relationships with the roots of 70% of all land plants. In this relationship, plants trade fatty acids for the fungi’s nitrogen and phosphorus. However, AM fungi lack the enzymes needed to free nitrogen and phosphorus from complex organic molecules.

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