Chinese University sends soy bacteria into space

Chinese University sends soy bacteria into space

Samples of soy bacteria, prepared by a Chinese University team, have arrived at the nation’s space station in a project researchers say could lead to breakthroughs in agricultural technology. It’s the first Hong Kong agricultural project ever to be sent into space.

The samples of the bacteria Rhizobia blasted off on the Tianzhou-6 cargo ship on Wednesday and will be at the Tiangong space station for six to eight months.

Lab director Professor Lam Hon-ming says the team is “very excited” about the project. He said conditions in space, like microgravity and space radiation, remove the need for environmentally-unfriendly nitrogen fertiliser.

“Our aim is to – through these space-induced changes – enhance the capacity of these rhizobia, [that] directly convert the atmospheric nitrogen to organic nitrogen, bypassing the requirement of nitrogen fertiliser,” said Lam.

“When we produce nitrogen fertiliser, it causes a lot of energy, that means a lot of carbon dioxide emission. Nitrogen fertiliser [application] to the soil also causes greenhouse gases emission and PM2.5 emission – very bad to the environment.”

He says if rhizobia and soybean seeds are mutated genetically in space, and adapt to a different soil environment, not only can they be applied to different habitats, but their interaction can also bring advanced knowledge in improving other agricultural products as well.

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.