Scientists hunt for the right angle to cut fertilizer use on corn fields
Environment food security yields

Scientists hunt for the right angle to cut fertilizer use on corn fields

Dr ASM Mainul Hasan
Dr ASM Mainul Hasan

In 10 seconds? Researchers have found a gene in corn that controls the angle of the crown root, helping the plant to get more nutrients out of the soil, which is yet another step toward better food security!

What exactly did they find?  The researchers have identified a gene - get ready for a long name - Calcineurin B-like protein (CBL)-interacting serine/threonine-protein kinase 15 (CIPK15). This gene is expressed in the corn root and is responsible for regulating the angles of crown roots. The study showed that plants with steeper roots were able to gain 18% greater shoot biomass (a method used to estimate the yield of the plant) and 29% higher shoot nitrogen content. Nitrogen is a macronutrient, important for plant growth, It's a key component of chlorophyll which the plant uses to capture sunlight to manufacture carbohydrates from water and carbon dioxide during photosynthesis.

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