N is for nitrogen: How can we make our crops sustainable?


31-08-2021
A petri dish of Arabidopsis plants grown in tissue culture.

Dr Mehmet Tufan Oz talks about how he came to work at Earlham Institute with his research on plant gene regulation and bioengineering advancements, which could lead to superior crop genomes.

Being the fifth most abundant element in the universe, nitrogen is one of the primary nutrients for the survival of all living systems. Named after the Greek word nitron, for ‘native soda’, and genes for ‘forming’ - nitrogen makes up the proteins and building blocks of DNA - transferring genetic information to the next generation of organisms.

For plants, Nitrogen is also a major component of the biomolecule chlorophyll which allows them to absorb their energy from sunlight through photosynthesis to grow. Although an essential compound, too much can cause problems for the environment, such as pollution as a result of the overuse of chemical-induced fertilisers.

This is where plant engineering comes into play; at Earlham Institute (EI) Dr Mehmet Tufan Oz is working on how plants can efficiently use nitrogen while producing sustainable crops and reducing environmental impact. Tufan talks about how he came to work at the EI with his research on plant gene regulation and bioengineering advancements which could lead to superior crop genomes.

Read the full article by Hayley London of the Earlham Institute

To read more information, click here.

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