02 July 2006

Self-fertilising plants

Nature magazine reports that some plants have been convinced to make their own fertilisers sans the usual bacteria.

The scientists concerned are working on transferring the ability to common crops like wheat and rice. Absent unexpected side-effects, this could be a boon for farmers in dry old Oz, here.

And if the plants can be taught to build fertilisers, how far away is a reasonable ability to better catch and deploy water? WestOz in particular has plenty of areas with agriculturally magnificent soil but a dry climate, so I’m imagining square kilometers of spinifex suddenly transformed to lush mangoesburgeoning cereal crops. Who knows...?

No comments: