The University of Queensland’s Centre for Integrative Legume Research (CILR) has discovered the essential components of genetic control of symbiotic nodulation and nitrogen fixation. Specifically, the CILR has identified two technologies that have the potential to significantly improve the productivity of soybean varieties around the world. The first relates to isolated nodulation factor receptor proteins and nucleic acids that govern nodulation, fast infection, and acid soil tolerance; the second relates to soybean signalling peptides that regulate nodulation events and root development in the entire plant.
With increasing fertilizer costs, decreased land availability and increased demands for food and biofuel supply, enhancement of the natural fertilizer saving process of nodulation and nitrogen fixation are gaining renewed significance. This is the first time that there is a complete package of soybean genetic functions available for targeted improvement of this essential global crop.