Medicago truncatula plants respond differently to soil bacteria depending on the type and quantity of peptides they produce. PHOTO: Courtesy of Hongyan Zhu
Medicago truncatula plants respond differently to soil bacteria depending on the type and quantity of peptides they produce.

Improve nitrogen fixation in legumes

Legumes differ significantly in their nitrogen fixation efficiency and will act differently in different environments and with different bacterial strains, sometimes fixing little to no nitrogen.

A group of University of Kentucky scientists have discovered a more efficient way for legumes to fix nitrogen.

Legumes have long been known for their nitrogen-fixing properties. Through a symbiotic relationship with rhizobia, which are soil bacteria, legumes can provide their own nitrogen needs and leave nitrogen in the soil for other plants to use. This reduces the need for nitrogen fertilizers, which are costly and can cause environmental pollution. That said, legumes differ signifi

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