Thursday, June 29, 2006

Self-fertilizing plants would boost biofuel

One of the difficulties with using biofuel/biomass as a transition out of a petroleum economy is the damage done to water resources by fertilizers. A promising biotech development may help surmount that obstacle: genetic modification of plants to provide their own nitrogen so that chemical nitrogen need not be applied, thus cutting the fossil fuel use of the agriculture industry in half and protecting scarce freshwater resources from agricultural pollution.  Studies by Oldroyd and Stougaard published today in Nature that modify a plant gene allowing a crop to be self-fertilizing.   The same technique could potentially develop self-fertilizings wheat, maize and rice.  Nature article

Agriculture, Climate Change, Energy, Governance/Management, Physical Science, Sustainability, Water Quality, Water Resources | Permalink

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