Dr. Manish Raizada

Popular Science spoke to Dr. Manish Raizada, a professor in the Department of Plant Agriculture, for an article about the role of nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria to replace industrially produced fertilizers.

Raizada commented that in order to increase the number of nitrogen-fixing bacteria, “elite strains” could be created to churn out more fixed nitrogen for their hosts to reduce the need for more fertilizer.

Raizada studies low-cost technologies that reduce the need for synthetic nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides to grow crops. He is currently researching how to infuse crop seeds with specific microbes that can convert nitrogen in the atmosphere into plant food,