Nitrogen-fixing plant roots, Senegal

Nitrogen-fixing plant roots, Senegal

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Credit: THIERRY BERROD, MONA LISA PRODUCTION/ SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Nitrogen-fixing plant roots, Senegal. Hand of a farmer holding a block of soil containing roots from nitrogen-fixing plants. These were planted in an arid area in Senegal, near the border with Mauritania. The growth of the plants in these dry conditions were aided by the addition of the nitrogen-fixing bacteria Rhizobium. The bacteria colonised the roots, and converted nitrogen in the atmosphere to nutrients for the plant. Such farming methods can increase yields in arid areas, as well as reducing the need to use fertilisers.

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