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WURtalks - Nature's Nitrogen
Wed 22 March 2017, 19:45 – 22:00 CET
WURtalks are lecture evenings where gifted storytellers from Wageningen University & Research give inspiring lectures to all students and employees of WUR and other interested people.
22 March: Nature’s Nitrogen
In order to feed the growing world population it is necessary to increase agricultural production in a sustainable way. Legumes could be part of the solution: they don’t need fertiliser, because they can bind nitrogen from the air.
Most plants get their nitrogen from the soil, however naturally nitrogen levels in soil are quite low. To increase the growth of crops we add fertiliser, which has nitrogen as one of the main ingredients. Unfortunately fertiliser is not widely available everywhere and the use of fertiliser can be a threat to the environment.
How can legumes tame rhizobium bacteria for a sustainable nitrogen supply?
Ton Bisseling - Professor Molecular Biology
Legumes don’t need fertiliser, because they can get their nitrogen from the air instead of the soil. They do this with the help of rhizobium bacteria, but how does this work? Ton Bisseling will tell you the story of how legumes can tame bacteria in order to get nature’s nitrogen.
How can we use nitrogen fixation by legumes for sustainable agriculture?
Ken Giller - Professor Plant Production Systems
After we have learned how legumes obtain nitrogen, Ken Giller will tell you how we can apply this information. How can we help small farmers in Africa and reach an environmentally sustainable agriculture?