Poisonous Symbiosis: Scientists discover mechanics of poison production in Crotalaria

18 marzo 2015

«Many plants require nitrogenous soil to grow. However, these soils are not available in all regions. Some species therefore form a symbiosis with soil bacteria, allowing them to bind nitrogen from the air», explains a researcher. In return, the bacteria get nutrients from the plants. This symbiosis allows plants, such as peas or clover, to grow on nitrogen-poor soils – and in agriculture it replaces artificial fertilizers. The nitrogen is bound in what are known as ‘root nodules’, symbiosis structures, similar to organs, formed jointly on the root by bacteria and plant alike.