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A Major Horticultural Discovery. A World Game Changer.


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This might even work with mj one day!




Plant bacteria breakthrough enables crops worldwide to take nitrogen from the air
"N-Fix" can replace expensive and environmentally damaging nitrate fertilizers
August 1, 2013

Dr Philip Stone from The University of Nottingham tending to the plants undergoing the atmospheric nitrogen fixation trials (credit: The University of Nottingham)

The University of Nottingham scientists have developed a new technology that would enable all of the world’s crops to take nitrogen from the air, instead of requiring expensive and environmentally damaging fertilizers.

Nitrogen fixation, the process by which nitrogen is converted to ammonia, is vital for plants to survive and grow. However, only a very small number of plants, most notably legumes (such as peas, beans and lentils) have the ability to fix (use) nitrogen from the atmosphere, with the help of nitrogen fixing bacteria.

The vast majority of plants have to obtain nitrogen from the soil, and for most crops currently being grown across the world, this also means reliance on synthetic nitrogen fertilizer.

Adding nitrogen-fixing bacteria to roots

Professor Edward Cocking, Director of The University of Nottingham’s Centre for Crop Nitrogen Fixation, has developed a unique method of putting nitrogen-fixing bacteria into the cells of plant roots.

His major breakthrough came when he found a specific strain of nitrogen-fixing bacteria in sugar cane known as G. diazotrophicus could intracellularly colonize all major crop plants.

This ground-breaking development potentially provides every cell in the plant with the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen. The implications for agriculture are enormous, as this new technology can provide much of the plant’s nitrogen needs, he suggests.


Section of root tip after inoculating with G. diazotrophicus, showing extensive intracellular colonization. Scale bar: 10 microns. (Credit: The University of Nottingham)

Known as N-Fix, the  method is neither genetic modification nor bioengineering. It is naturally occurring nitrogen fixing bacteria that take up and use nitrogen from the air.

Applied to the cells of plants via the seed, it provides every cell in the plant with the ability to fix nitrogen. Plant seeds are coated with these bacteria to create a symbiotic, mutually beneficial relationship and naturally produce nitrogen.

N-Fix is a natural nitrogen seed coating that provides a sustainable solution to fertilizer overuse and nitrogen pollution. It is environmentally friendly and can be applied to all crops.

Over the last 10 years, The University of Nottingham has conducted a series of extensive research programs which have established proof of principle the technology in the laboratory, growth rooms and glasshouses.

Nitrate pollution

A leading world expert in nitrogen and plant science, Professor Cocking has long recognized that there is a critical need to reduce nitrogen pollution caused by nitrogen based fertilizers. Nitrate pollution is a major problem as is also the pollution of the atmosphere by ammonia and oxides of nitrogen.

In addition, nitrate pollution is a health hazard and also causes oxygen-depleted “dead zones” in our waterways and oceans. A recent study estimates that that the annual cost of damage caused by nitrogen pollution across Europe is £60 billion to £280 billion.

Professor Cocking said: “Helping plants to naturally obtain the nitrogen they need is a key aspect of world food security.

“The world needs to unhook itself from its ever increasing reliance on synthetic nitrogen fertilizers produced from fossil fuels with its high economic costs, its pollution of the environment and its high energy costs.”

Making N-Fix available worldwide


Professor Ted Cocking from University of Nottingham with a plant grown using nitrogen fixation N Fix technology (credit: University of Nottingham)

The N-Fix technology has been licensed by The University of Nottingham to Azotic Technologies Ltd to develop and commercialise N-Fix globally on its behalf for all crop species.

Peter Blezard, CEO of Azotic Technologies added: “Agriculture has to change and N-Fix can make a real and positive contribution to that change.

It has enormous potential to help feed more people in many of the poorer parts of the world, while at the same time, dramatically reducing the amount of synthetic nitrogen produced in the world.”

Azotic is now working on field trials to produce robust efficacy data. This will be followed by seeking regulatory approval for N-Fix initially in the UK, Europe, USA, Canada and Brazil, with more countries to follow. It is anticipated that the N-Fix technology will be commercially available within the next two to three years.

The University of Nottingham’s Plant and Crop Sciences Division is internationally acclaimed as a centre for fundamental and applied research, underpinning its understanding of agriculture, food production and quality, and the natural environment.  It also has one of the largest communities of plant scientists in the UK.



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If treated plants take nitrogen out of the air, and all plants on earth get treated, how long will it be before they are taking too much nitrogen out of the air? Don't humans need nitrogen mixed with oxygen in the air in order to breath?

Air is about 70% nitrogen. It is inert. Humans do not need it. You can breathe 100% oxygen.

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You can breath pure oxygen but there are downsides to that. It would be an irritant and you would probably become lightheaded. 

Otherwise if I am correct soybeans take nitrogen from the air. 


There is enough is a paraphrase of what many years in  which  Rolls Royce did not make public the horse power numbers when an owner sent  them a telegram asking how much hp did a RR have. They replied "Enough". But don't worry, now they tell you.


So if your in the market thats one less thing you have to worry about. :)

Edited by mrd
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