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Research in the media

Goldilocks principle in biology – fine-tuning the ‘just right’ signal load

In the fairy tale "Goldilock and the Three Bears", the girl Goldilock goes to the bears’ house where she finds three bowls of porridge, but only one has the “just right” temperature, and in the same way within biology, you can find the "just right" conditions - called the Goldilocks principle. This is precisely what an international research team has done by demonstrating that in order to get the "just right" amount of signalling for symbiosis in the roots of legumes, a specific enzyme called chitinase (CHIT5) must be present.

New receptor involved in symbiosis between legumes and nitrogen-fixing rhizobia identified

Legumes are able to grow in nitrogen-poor soils due to their ability to engage in symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. There is a great interest in using the knowledge about this symbiosis, to enable transfer to other non-symbiotic plants. An international research team has come a step further to understanding this complex biological process.

Nitrogen fixing symbiosis is crucial for legume plant microbiome assembly

New findings from the study of legumes have identified an unknown role of nitrogen fixation symbiosis on plant root-associated microbiome, which agriculture may benefit from in the future.

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Researchers discover how bacteria sweet-talk their way into plants

An international team of researchers has discovered how legumes are able to tell helpful and harmful invading bacteria apart. The research has implications for improving the understanding of how other plants, animals and humans interact with bacteria in their environment and defend themselves against hostile infections. These findings can have profound implications for both agricultural research and medical science.

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Bill Gates met with researchers from Aarhus University

Bill Gates recently met with researchers from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Aarhus University to discuss the sustainable use of biological nitrogen fixation that allows legumes to use atmospheric dinitrogen as a nitrogen source.

Legumes control infection of nodules by both symbiotic and endophytic bacteria

New research results show that legume plants selectively regulate access and accommodation of both symbiotic and endophytic bacteria inside root nodule. This provides a solid basis and platform for identification and selection of beneficial endophytic bacteria and highly efficient nitrogen-fixing rhizobia to be used as biofertilisers in sustainable agriculture. Furthermore, these results contribute to the general understanding of the control mechanisms used by eukaryotic organisms to control microbial infection.

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Developing tools to combat fungi in barley

Fungal contamination of barley crops can cause reduced yields due to the disease leaf spot. A team of Danish and Scottish researchers will now develop tools to breed resistant varieties of barley and provide an early diagnosis of outbreaks so the disease can be reduced or eliminated. The Danish Council for Strategic Research has just granted Associate Professor Simona Radutoiu DKK 15.2 million for the project.

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