Source: Ecos, CSIRO – 23 August 2022

Nitrogen is key to producing the world’s crops – but it comes at a cost. New research from CSIRO is developing future crops that produce their own fertiliser. Cutting environmental impacts, without impacting global food security – this challenge is being tackled by Dr Craig Wood and his team at CSIRO using advanced synthetic biology and crop biotechnology to create new crops that that can fix their own nitrogen for growth.

“Some bacteria are able to make their own fertiliser, and this unique and natural pathway is giving us the template for engineering crops with the same capacities,” Dr Wood says. His team, including Drs Christina Gregg and Rob Allen, are using the genetic templates available in bacteria and re-engineering them to have stable expression in agricultural crops.