Chapter 11 Regulation of Metabolism [1]

Chapter 11 Regulation of Metabolism: New Technology Allows Crops to Take Nitrogen from the Air!

Contributed by bgeracie on Aug 13, 2013 - 05:42 PM

The University of Nottingham, located in England [2], has developed a new technology that would allow all of the crops in the world to take in nitrogen from the air instead of from fertilizers.  During nitrogen fixation, a plant processes nitrogen (which is taken up by the fertilizer and soil) and then converts it into ammonia, which is a form of nitrogen that the cell can utilize. With the conversion of ammonia, the cell adds glutamate, which then creates glutamine. This process is extensive and takes up much energy in cells, but is necessary for growth and survival. 

Professor Edward Cocking from the University of Nottingham has created this new method. It involves the deposits of nitrogen fixing bacteria into the root cells of any plant. By doing this, it allowed the plant to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere. Professor Cocking started working on this research because of his understanding that nitrate pollution is a problem, which is caused by the fertilizers used for crops. It is a health hazard and causes various problems in oceans and other water sources.

The new technology has been names N-Fix. This powerful development is believed to transform agriculture for the better, while saving money for the grower. This is because the grower is not purchasing expensive fertilizers. With that, the poorer parts of the world may be able to afford crops that have N-Fix because they will not be spending large amounts of money on expensive fertilizers. This new technology has proved to work in the laboratory and is now being tested in field trials. It is estimated that the arrival of this new technology will be in two to three years.


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  1. 11 Regulation of Metabolism/