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Scientific Breakthrough Creates Soybean With Super Nitrogen Efficiency

A scientific discovery that is being called a “breakthrough” has shown how to activate a third “transporter” in soybeans that increases the flow of nitrogen from the plant’s root system to its shoots and seed producing components.

This discovery made by biologist Mechthild Tegeder and biological sciences graduate student Amanda Carter at Washington State University could increase the amount of nitrogen that a soybean plant could absorb from the atmosphere and enhance the efficiency in how it is used by the plant, effectively doubling the amount of nitrogen that if fixed compared to wild soybean plants.

Through increasing the speed by which nitrogen is fixed within the plant’s shoots and reproductive organs, the researchers found that soybeans plants produced between 14 percent and 41 percent more pods with an increase in seed production of up to 36 percent.

This breakthrough could not mean that soybean output levels could be significantly lifted, but that it could be possible to also grow soybeans under harsher conditions with less available nitrogen.

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