Giles Oldroyd. Engineering the nitrogen symbiosis for smallholder farmers in Africa

Filmed at the Gatsby Summer School, University of Cambridge 2015

Western agricultural systems are reliant on the application of inorganic nitrogen fertilisers to greatly enhance yield. However, production and application of nitrogen fertilisers account for a significant proportion of fossil fuel usage in food production and the major source of pollution from agriculture.

Prof Giles Oldroyd studies the mechanisms by which some species of plants are capable of forming beneficial interactions with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which provide a natural source of nitrogen for plant growth. In this lecture, filmed at the Gatsby Plant Science Summer School 2014 (for 1st year undergraduates from UK universities), Prof Giles Oldroyd discusses the potential to reduce agricultural reliance on nitrogen fertilisers.