The research group of NIBB's Hikota Miyazawa and professor Masayoshi Kawaguchi have discovered a gene that simultaneously controls root nodule number and plant shoot development in legumes. The secret of how legumes survive in wastelands with scarce nutrients is their ability to house symbiotic bacteria in root nodules and efficiently use those bacteria to turn nitrogen from the air into nourishment in a process known as nitrogen fixation. Root nodules are special organs where symbiosis takes place that legumes have developed throughout their evolution. These results reveal an important link between the mechanisms of root nodule number and plant shoot development. This knowledge may well lead to the development of plants that can be raised in adverse conditions and contribute to solutions to food shortage and environmental problems. The results of this research were published in the online issue of Development on November 11th 2010.
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Mr. Hikota Miyazawa and professor Masayoshi Kawaguchi