CORALLOID ROOTS AND NITROGEN FIXATION
Juliana Medeiros and Dennis Stevenson
Aside from expanding scientific knowledge on the subject, research into cyanobacterial symbioses has other possible benefits. In view of the fact that all plants need fixed nitrogen, and that it's availability is limited, many researchers are currently investigating ways in which cyanobacterial symbioses might be beneficial in agriculture. Some have focused on the creation of nitrogen fixing crop plants to decrease dependence on chemical fertilizers. Other approaches to this problem include the manipulation of autotrophic cyanobacteria to be used as biofertilizers, or in the photobiological production of ammonia and hydrogen. Another possible application is the use of cyanobacteria in association with various types of plant tissue culture for the efficient and cost effective production of bioactive compounds such as steroids and alkaloids.