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514. Dr. Guntur V. Subbarao, JIRCAS Senior Researcher, Speaks at TED2022

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Dr. Guntur V. Subbarao, Senior Researcher at the Crop, Livestock and Environment Division, JIRCAS will speak at the TED2022: A New Era to be held from April 10-14, 2022 in Vancouver, Canada. Dr. Subbarao’s talk is scheduled on April 13, Wednesday, in Session 8 (Regeneration).

Dr. Subbarao has discovered a number of plant-produced substances in the root of Brachiaria, a tropical pasture grass, and sorghum that increase crop nitrogen use efficiency and maintain productivity with less nitrogen fertilizer. These substances inhibit certain soil microorganisms from converting the ammonia from nitrogen fertilizers into nitrate, which is attracting attention around the world because it can reduce groundwater pollution and GHG emissions from farmlands.

This phenomenon in plants is called biological nitrification inhibition (BNI), and one of the main research themes at JIRCAS is its utilization to achieve both productivity improvement and sustainability. Recently, we have succeeded in introducing BNI in wheat, the most nitrogen-intensive crop in the world, from wild wheat. This research is positioned in the “Measures for achievement of Decarbonization and Resilience with Innovation (MeaDRI)” strategy of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), and was also selected as one of the “Top 10 Agricultural Technology News for 2021” announced by MAFF on December 23, 2021. In addition, the BNI-enhanced wheat research was awarded the Cozzarelli Prize, the best paper in PNAS in 2021 by the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, in recognition of the development of new wheat varieties that can maintain productivity with less nitrogen fertilizer by overcoming the technical difficulty of crossbreeding wheat with wild species.

Dr. Subbarao’s lecture “Low-nitrifying agricultural systems are critical for the next Green Revolution” presented at a seminar at Princeton University's Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment (C-PREE) on March 28, 2022 is available on the C-PREE website or their YouTube channel (English only).

Princeton University C-PREE Bradford seminar


Contributors: Guntur V. SUBBARAO (Crop, Livestock and Environment Division), YOSHIHASHI Tadashi (Biological Resources and Post-harvest Division), KANAMORI Norihito (Information and Public Relations Office)