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Designing microbial communities to help plants battle nutritional stress     2018/02/20 19:35

Plants and microbes engage in a diverse array of symbiotic relationships, but identifying the specific microbes or groups of microbes that contribute to plant health is extremely difficult. Researchers have devised a general experimental scheme to identify and predict which small groups of bacterial species can help plants respond to phosphate starvation, a form of nutritional stress.

New light shed on how plants get their nitrogen fix     2018/02/16 16:05

Legumes are widely-consumed plants that use soil bacteria to obtain nitrogen through root nodulation. The process is energetically costly, and so legumes inhibit nodulation when soil nitrate is available. However, the mechanism that drives this inhibition is unknown. Researchers found that NRSYM1 is responsible for inhibiting nodulation in the presence of nitrate, and acts by directly regulating gene expression. The findings may aid agricultural efforts to improve the crop efficiency of legumes.

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