Genetic engineers develop self-fertilizing crops

Oct 24, 2017, 7:21 AM EDT
(Source: Katya/flickr)
(Source: Katya/flickr)

An unnamed genetic engineering startup in the U.S. is developing plants capable of fertilizing themselves, a breakthrough that not only reduces agriculture costs but also eases pressure on the environment due to production and use of synthetic nitrogenous fertilizers.

The startup, backed by Gingko Bioworks, harnesses an extensive collection of microbes that exist symbiotically with particular crops, meeting their fertilizer requirements without compromising nutritional content or yield, notes Green Matters.

The company plans to engineer microbes so they can fix nitrogen for crops such as corns, wheat and rice, which cannot fertilize themselves naturally unlike beans and peanuts, writes Fast Company