Opportunities for Biological Nitrogen Fixation in Rice and Other Non-Legumes

New frontiers of science offer exciting opportunities to stretch rice research horizons. Recent advances in understanding symbiotic Rhizobium-legume interactions at the molecular level, the discovery of endophytic interactions of nitrogen-fixing organisms with non-legumes and the ability to introduce new genes into rice through transformation have created an excellent opportunity to investigate the possibilities for incorporating N2 fixation capability in rice. During a think-tank workshop organized by IRRI in 1992, the participants reaffirmed that such opportunities do exist for cereals and recommended that rice be used as a model system. Subsequently, IRRI developed a New Frontier Project to coordinate the worldwide collaborative efforts among research centers committed to reducing dependency of rice on mineral N resources. An international Rice Biological Nitrogen Fixation (BNF) working group was established to review, share research results/materials, and to catalyze research. This volume contains the deliberations made at the second working group meeting, held 13-15 October, 1996 at the National Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE) in Faisalabad, Pakistan. The papers presented in the meeting deal with the recent findings on different approaches related to the establishment of endophytic association, development of N2-fixing nodules similar to legumes and transfer of nif genes to rice.
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