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Enhancing Natural Fertilizer Production...through Rice!
Is plant-stimulated natural production of fertilizer on the horizon? According to a recent article from Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News (GEN), gene-edited rice just might hold the key!
UC Davis researchers have used CRISPR to develop a variety of rice that encourages interactions between soil bacteria and the plant roots to improve natural biological nitrogen fixation, which would decrease dependency on external application of fertilizer. This same characteristic could potentially be introduced into other crops in the future. This is big news for sustainable agriculture production - and it's all thanks to plant breeding!
According to GEN, the innovative rice variety could reduce the amount of nitrogen fertilizers needed to grow cereal crops, save U.S. farmers billions of dollars annually, and benefit the environment by reducing nitrogen pollution.