State of the art in eukaryotic nitrogenase engineering

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Improving the ability of plants and plant-associated organisms to fix and assimilate atmospheric nitrogen has inspired plant biotechnologists for decades, not only to alleviate negative effects on nature from increased use and availability of reactive nitrogen, but also because of apparent economic benefits and opportunities. The combination of recent advances in synthetic biology and increased knowledge about the biochemistry and biosynthesis of the nitrogenase enzyme has made the seemingly remote and for long unreachable dream more possible. In this review, we will discuss strategies how this could be accomplished using biotechnology, with a special focus on recent progress on engineering plants to express its own nitrogenase.

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