About Bellingen Seedsavers

We are a group of like-minded growers of edible and useful heritage plant varieties in the Bellingen area of northeast New South Wales, Australia.

Our climate varies from frost-free coastal areas to inland river valleys and highlands with frosts. Bellingen has an average annual rainfall of 1507ml.

Monday, 10 September 2018

NITROGEN-FIXING CORN BRED BY INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN MEXICO.

From: plantyhamchuk

THEY FOUND NITROGEN-FIXING CORN BRED BY INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN MEXICO. @botanyshitposts​

“The study found the Sierra Mixe corn obtains 28 to 82 percent of its nitrogen from the atmosphere. To do this, the corn grows a series of aerial roots. Unlike conventional corn, which has one or two groups of aerial roots near its base, the nitrogen-fixing corn develops eight to ten thick aerial roots that never touch the ground.

During certain times of the year, these roots secrete a gel-like substance, or mucilage. The mucilage provides the low-oxygen and sugar-rich environment required to attract bacteria that can transform nitrogen from the air into a form the corn can use.



“Our research has demonstrated that the mucilage found in this Sierra Mixe corn forms a key component of its nitrogen fixation,“ said co-author Jean-Michel AnĂ©, professor of agronomy and bacteriology in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at UW–Madison. “We have shown this through growth of the plant both in Mexico and Wisconsin.”

“ Researchers are a long way from developing a similar nitrogen-fixing trait for commercial corn, but this is a first step to guide further research on that application. The discovery could lead to a reduction of fertilizer use for corn, one of the world’s major cereal crops. It takes 1 to 2 percent of the total global energy supply to produce fertilizer. The energy-intensive process is also responsible for 1 to 2 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. “


Why are we stripping our life support systems?



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