Utilizing Gene Oscillators to Engineer
Sustainable Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria
All plants need nitrogen to grow. But most can't access nitrogen in the air. For that, plants depend on diazotrophs, microorganisms that fix atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia, which plants can use for metabolic processes. But naturally occuring diazotrophs can't keep up with the demands of modern agriculture.
As a result, many farmers turn to synthetic nitrogen-based fertilizers, which add ammonia directly to the soil. Many individuals and organizations also use these fertilizers to maitains green lawns. But the ammonia from these fertilizers runs off in the rain, causing a host of environmental issues.
Harm to Wildlife
Release of Greenhouse Gases
Excess nitrogen causes an overgrowth of algae. Algal blooms can produce toxins, and coat bodies of water in a green, smelly scum.
Algae deplete local water of oxygen, and block sunlight from reaching aquatic plants. This makes the enviornment unihabitable for aquatic life.
Nitrogen can run off into local water sources and seep into groundwater. This has been linked to illness in humans and animals.
Industrial production of ammonia for synthetic fertilizers produces hundreds of millions of tons of CO2 annually.
Incorporate a genetic clock into our bacteria, enabling them to express the nitrogenase gene cluster on a controlled, oscillating cycle.
Provide a viable, bacteria-based alternaitive to nitrogen based fertilizers.
As the global population continues to skyrocket, more and more communities find themselves on the brink of enviornmental crises. We can no longer afford to remain dependent on unsustainable agricultural and landscaping practices. Learn more about our project, Nitroscillator, and help us create an effetive, ethical altertnative to synthetic nitrogen fertilizer.