Coated seeds may enable agriculture on marginal lands

Providing seeds with a protective coating that also supplies essential nutrients to the germinating plant could make it possible to grow crops in otherwise unproductive soils, according to new research at MIT.

The structure of master growth regulator

A team of Whitehead Institute scientists has for the first time revealed the molecular structure of a critical growth regulator bound to its partner proteins, creating a fine-grained view of how they interact to sense nutrient ...

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Nutrient

A nutrient is a chemical that an organism needs to live and grow or a substance used in an organism's metabolism which must be taken in from its environment. They are used to build and repair tissues, regulate body processes and are converted to and used as energy. Methods for nutrient intake vary, with animals and protists consuming foods that are digested by an internal digestive system, but most plants ingest nutrients directly from the soil through their roots or from the atmosphere.

Organic nutrients include carbohydrates, fats, proteins (or their building blocks, amino acids), and vitamins. Inorganic chemical compounds such as dietary minerals, water, and oxygen may also be considered nutrients. A nutrient is said to be "essential" if it must be obtained from an external source, either because the organism cannot synthesize it or produces insufficient quantities. Nutrients needed in very small amounts are micronutrients and those that are needed in larger quantities are called macronutrients. The effects of nutrients are dose-dependent and shortages are called deficiencies.

See healthy diet for more information on the role of nutrients in human nutrition.

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