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Nitrogen is the nutrient most critical to crop’s production.​

The key to nitrogen fixation for soybean and other leguminous crops is effective nodulation. The success of nitrogen fixation through nodulation is highly dependent on the presence of specific microbes for each crop in the soil near the roots or applied to seed.​

Bret Gygi, Technology Development Lead for Monsanto BioAg, talks about nitrogen fixation.​

What are nodules?

Nodules are masses that form on the roots of plants that associate with symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria, like rhizobia, to convert atmospheric nitrogen into a form the plant can use.

How do nodules form?

Nodulation occurs when plants need additional nitrogen. Your legumes, like soybeans, peas or peanuts, send flavonoids into the soil through their root systems. Rhizobia bacteria in the soil sense the flavonoids and send a signal called LCO back to the plant. The plant responds with root hair curling where the rhizobia enter the plant and nodules are formed around them.

When the LCO molecule is present at the time of planting, it allows for the nodulation process to begin, independent of legume plant variety, soil and environmental conditions. The benefit of the nodulation is nitrogen availability to the plant that supports plant growth such as root and shoot development. The result of this early-season activity is better plant performance. LCO is an important component in nodulation as a key driver in the communication between plants and rhizobia.

How can I increase nodules?

Monsanto BioAg™ offers products based on rhizobium and/or LCO technology that help to improve nodule formation​.


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