Nitrogen-generating bacteria will replace the usual fertilizers
Nitrogen fertilizers, widely used in agriculture, unfortunately, heavily pollute natural sources of fresh water. As recent studies show, they can be replaced by special, completely safe bacteria derived by genetic engineering.
Researchers from the University of Washington, led by Associate Professor Florence Moose, have developed new strains of soil bacteria Azotobakter vinelandii, capable of releasing ammonia (NH3) in higher concentrations compared to previously known species.
Their effectiveness was confirmed during experiments when added to the soil, where there were rice sprouts that fed on ammonia produced by bacteria.
The main task facing scientists today is the breeding of additional strains that produce NH3 at different rates. What does it give? With such bacteria at their disposal, farmers will be able to use them for specific crops that consume a certain amount of this substance.
As a result, plants will consume exactly as much ammonia as they need and, very importantly, without the residue that would otherwise end up in groundwater or other fresh water sources. In addition, farmers will be able to save quite a lot without buying “extra” fertilizers.