Nitrogen-fixing plant research, Senegal

Nitrogen-fixing plant research, Senegal

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

Caption: Nitrogen-fixing plant research, Senegal. Microbiologist examining petri dishes containing cultures of Rhizobium nitrogen-fixing bacteria. These bacteria are being used to improve crop yields in arid areas in Senegal, near the border with Mauritania. The growth of the plants is aided by adding the bacteria so that they colonise the roots, converting 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. This work is being carried out by CIRAD, a French institute that carries out agricultural research in developing countries.

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