NitFix Appreciation and Update
We wanted to take a moment to thank all that have helped with the NitFix expeditions. There has been a fantastic response to this project on Notes from Nature. The 5th expedition is currently at 17% complete and four expeditions have finished so far with over 15,000 transcriptions already completed!
Today there are researchers from the NitFix team collecting more samples at the Missouri Botanical Garden herbarium for analysis. This is one of the largest herbaria in the world with over 6.6 million specimens. To date the NitFix team has had 90% sequencing success meaning that they have been able to get genetic sequences from 90% of the samples collected. That is a really good considering that all of these samples have come from herbarium specimens as opposed to fresh plant tissue.
We expect about 6 more expeditions to come in the future as the NitFix team continues this ambitions project. You can continue to follow progress at the NitFix website and on Twitter @Nit_Fix
Got a question about the results of your research… to whom will they become available? Will the techniques be made publicly available, or will they remain proprietory? Who’s going to benefit, basically?
“We received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop mechanisms to engineer bioenergy crops so that these plants can fix nitrogen via root nodule symbioses. If we are successful, engineered bioenergy crops could be cultivated in marginal lands that have little agricultural value due to poor soil or other characteristics.”
Let me see if I can get some answers from one of the researchers on the NitFix project. I am personally only involved in the Notes from Nature parts and only know a little bit about the crops portion.
Hi Helen, good question but a tough one, too, simply because of intellectual property laws and the Bayh-Dole act (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayh%E2%80%93Dole_Act). Since I don’t know the answers here, I’ll see if I can learn more details and make sure to send that along.
Thank you! Makes quite a difference to how I feel about doing these transcriptions…