High yielding switchgrass that needs minimal nitrogen crucial to viability

August 13, 2020 |

In Michigan, high yielding switchgrass varieties that require minimal nitrogen fertilization are crucial to bioenergy research because of their economically and environmentally sustainable qualities. Switchgrass, like other perennial grasses, extracts nitrogen from soils by growing long roots and by forming relationships with root fungi. Switchgrass also associates with microbes that can fix nitrogen, i.e., take up nitrogen from air and convert it into a compound plants can use to grow. Additionally, by conserving nitrogen in perennial roots, switchgrass reduces its annual nitrogen requirements. Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center researchers studied how nitrogen acquisition and conservation varies in 12 switchgrass varieties. The differences within switchgrass varieties was likely due to their phenology, physiology, and microbial community composition.

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Category: Fuels

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