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Biological Nitrification Inhibition (BNI) - A novel strategy to regulate nitrification in agricultural systems

Author: Subbarao, G.V.
Author: Sahrawat, K.L.
Author: Nakahara, K.
Author: Ishikawa, T.
Author: Kudo, N.
Author: Kishii, M.
Author: Rao, I.M.
Author: Hash, C.T.
Author: George, T.S.
Author: Srinivasa Rao, P.
Author: Nardi, P.
Author: Bonnett, D.
Author: Berry, W.
Author: Suenaga, K.
Author: Lata, J.C.
Year: 2012
ISSN: 0065-2113
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10883/1883
Abstract: Human activity has had the single largest influence on the global nitrogen (N) cycle by introducing unprecedented amounts of reactive-N into ecosystems. A major portion of this reactive-N, applied as fertilizer to crops, leaks into the environment with cascading negative effects on ecosystem functions and contributes to global warming. Natural ecosystems use multiple pathways of the N-cycle to regulate the flow of this element. By contrast, the large amounts of N currently applied in agricultural systems cycle primarily through the nitrification process, a single inefficient route that allows much of the reactive-N to leak into the environment. The fact that present agricultural systems do not channel this reactive-N through alternate pathways is largely due to uncontrolled soil nitrifier activity, creating a rapid nitrifying soil environment. Regulating nitrification is therefore central to any strategy for improving nitrogen-use efficiency. Biological nitrification inhibition (BNI) is an active plant-mediated natural function, where nitrification inhibitors released from plant roots suppress soil-nitrifying activity, thereby forcing N into other pathways. This review illustrates the presence of detection methods for variation in physiological regulation of BNI-function in field crops and pasture grasses and analyzes the potential for its genetic manipulation. We present a conceptual framework utilizing a BNI-platform that integrates diverse crop science disciplines with ecological principles. Sustainable agriculture will require development of production systems that include new crop cultivars capable of controlling nitrification (i.e., high BNI-capacity) and improved agronomic practices to minimize leakage of reactive-N during the N-cycle, a critical requirement for increasing food production while avoiding environmental damage.
Language: English
Copyright: CIMMYT manages Intellectual Assets as International Public Goods. The user is free to download, print, store and share this work. In case you want to translate or create any other derivative work and share or distribute such translation/derivative work, please contact CIMMYT-Knowledge-Center@cgiar.org indicating the work you want to use and the kind of use you intend; CIMMYT will contact you with the suitable license for that purpose.
Type: Article
Region: Global
Pages: 249-301
Journal: Advances in Agronomy
Journal Volume: 114
DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-394275-3.00001-8
Keywords: Brachiaria
Keywords: Genetic strategies
Keywords: Global warming
Keywords: Greenhouse gas emissions
Keywords: Nitrification control
Keywords: nitrate leaching
Keywords: Nitrogen pollution
Keywords: nitrogen-use efficiency
Keywords: Nitrous oxide
Keywords: Reactive nitrogen
Keywords: Sorghum
Keywords: Wheat


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  • Wheat
    Wheat - breeding, phytopathology, physiology, quality, biotech
  • Genetic Resources
    Genetic Resources including germplasm collections, wild relatives, genotyping, genomics, and IP

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