Most of the things we eat are cultivated using artificial fertilizers that are made with chemicals, some could be not so good for our health. Looks like there are someways of avoiding these chemicals in some circumstances. A lot of people are turning to pure organic foods for fear of eating chemicals.
The article from Science Daily (Mar. 10, 2010) described how Nitrogen plays a vital for all plant life. Researchers found out that nitrogen-producing bacteria living inside legumes such as soybeans could help the agriculture to be more sustainable. They have discovered a new biological process, by which leguminous plants control behavior of symbiotic bacteria. Sharon Long (2010) reported that "These plants have a specialized protein processing system that generates specific protein signals which can cause nitrogen fixation which enables the ability of legumes to capture nitrogen from the air and turn it into plant food and leave the soil enriched riched through the plant matter left after harvesting, creating a natural fertilizer for other crops, which is the basis for crop rotation. Researchers reported alternating legumes with other crops has been a major component of agriculture around the world for thousands of years. Long et.al (2010) uncovered a plant gene that triggers a critical chemical signal which helps the nitrogen to get fixed by bacteria.
I think this system is great if it works because it will reduce damage to the enviroment from articial chemicals used to make fertilizers also this may help us to eat much healthier food with less chemicals. But this can be chalenging because using natural fertilizers may delay plant maturity so it may not be economically favourable to farmers, it may take two times longer for plant food to be ready. Another thing I am not sure if these legume plants can grow in every kind of soil. But otherwise I think it is great idea to try to use natural fertilizers instead of artificial ones.
Posted by Anna Moreno