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能改变世界的麦田

发布者: 五毒 | 发布时间: 2022-11-27 22:36| 查看数: 50| 评论数: 0|



What you see over there is

你眼前的是

elite modern-day wheat lines

一款优质的现代小麦品种,

that have a special ability to produce

它有一种特殊的能力,

large amounts of antibiotics

能够产生大量的抗生素

from the root systems.

从根部系统。

You may be wondering,

你可能会想,

why do we need antibiotics from the wheat root systems?

为什么我们需要来自小麦根系的抗生素?

You only take antibiotics when you are sick, isn't it?

你只在生病时才服用抗生素,对吗?

The agricultural systems,

农业系统,

the modern farming systems have become

现代的农耕系统

increasingly sick lately.

最近病得越来越重。

They are so sick that nearly 70 percent of the nitrogen fertilizers

病重到农田上用的

that are being applied to farmlands

70% 的氮肥

are being leaked out.

都泄漏了。

They're leaking nitrogen uncontrollably.

氮一发不可收拾地泄漏了出来。

If you look at the nitrogen fertilizer consumption

对比一下绿色革命初期的

from the beginning of the Green Revolution,

氮肥用量,

it has grown nearly 30 fold.

如今已经翻了将近 30 倍。

From five million metric tons

从绿色革命

at the beginning of the Green Revolution,

初期的 500 万吨,

to 150 million metric tons,

涨到

what we are currently using.

今天的 1.5 亿吨。

A 30-fold increase in nitrogen fertilizer consumption

氮肥用量 30 倍的暴涨

has resulted in a four-fold increase in global food grain production.

促使全球粮食产量翻了 4 倍。

Of course, we all know

当然,我们都知道

that the Green Revolution has transformed the global food grain production,

绿色革命彻底改变了 全球粮食生产,

saved us from famine,

让我们免受饥荒、

food scarcities,

粮食不足的侵扰,

and provided the global food security.

保障了全球的粮食安全。

But you have to ask yourself.

但是扪心自问一下。

A 30-fold increase in nitrogen fertilizer consumption

氮肥用量翻了 30 倍,

is supporting only four-fold increase in food grain production.

却只让粮食生产翻了 4 倍。

What's happening?

怎么回事?

When you apply nitrogen fertilizers,

我们所施的氮肥,

it is mostly in ammonium form.

大部分是铵态氮肥。

Ammonium form binds the soil, doesn't move.

铵态氮跟土壤结合,不易流失。

Doesn't create any harmful nitrogen byproducts.

不会产生有害的氮副产品。

There's no problem with ammonium nitrogen.

铵态氮没什么问题。

But there is a little bacteria, lives in the soil,

但是土壤里有一种小小的细菌,

that started eating away this fertilizer, nitrogen ammonium,

它们会吸收肥料,即铵态氮,

and spitting it out into nitrate.

再以硝酸盐形态排出。

And also it's making many other

与此同时还产生许多其他

harmful nitrogen byproducts.

有害的氮副产品。

The problem with the nitrates is,

硝酸盐的问题是,

though many plants can use nitrates as a nitrogen source,

虽然很多植物都可以 将硝酸盐用做氮元素来源,

but nitrogen cannot bind to the soil.

但是氮不会被锁在土壤中。

It washes out.

它会被冲走。

If you have rain, if you have irrigation,

如果下雨、灌溉,

it washes out from the farmlands.

氮就从农田里流走了。

That is the problem.

这就是问题所在。

This little bacteria that used to be a small,

这小小的细菌曾经那么微不足道,

subdued microbial activity in the soil biological activity,

只是土壤生物活动中微小的一环,

has grown now into a monster.

现在却成了一个大麻烦。

It's consuming nearly 95 to 99 percent of the fertilizer nitrogen

它会消耗氮肥中 95% 至 99% 的氮,

and splitting it out into nitrates.

再以硝酸盐的形态将其排出。

We should be asking,

我们不得不思考,

are we fertilizing our crops,

我们到底是在滋养作物,

or are we fertilizing this little bacteria

还是在亲手养大

which we have helped to grow into a big monster?

这后患无穷的小小细菌?

This is what happens when the nitrogen moves into water streams,

氮排入水源就会发生这种情况,

pollutes lakes,

污染湖泊,

triggers algal blooms

让水藻泛滥,

and creates another Green Revolution.

引发另一场“绿色革命”。

If you don't keep the nitrogen in farmlands,

如果不把氮留在农田里,

if you allow it to move into the water bodies,

而让它自由地流入水域,

to the larger ecosystem,

流入更大规模的生态系统,

it creates another Green Revolution in a ecologically destructive way.

就会导致另一场 破坏生态的绿色革命。

If you look at the soil,

仔细看看土壤,

it's a living biological system.

你会发现它是一个 活体生物系统。

An invisible microbial world.

一个看不见的微生物世界。

There's a large microbial universe operating in these soil systems.

土壤系统里有一个 广袤的微生物世界。

They are involved in numerous functions,

包含了各种各样的功能,

breaking down everything into individual components,

将万物分解成独立的成分,

nourishing our crops to grow and produce food.

滋养作物生长并生产粮食。

It's so complex.

它太复杂了。

It's much, much bigger than the ecosystem that we know,

比我们所熟知的、

the ecosystem above the ground that we know.

地面的生态系统,要大得多。

It's much more complex.

错综复杂得多。

Just to give you an example,

举个例子,

a gram of soil would have about 10 billion microbial cells.

一克土壤可能包含了 100 亿个微生物细胞。

Ten billion microbes in a gram of soil, doing various functions.

100 亿个微生物在这 一克土壤里各司其职。

It's much larger than the entire human population,

这比所有人口都多得多

what you see on Earth.

在这个地球上

This microbial universe is affected,

微生物宇宙受到了影响,

affected so severely,

严重的影响,

from the last seven decades of the Green Revolution.

都是过去七十年里的 绿色革命惹的祸。

Particularly,

尤其是,

the infusion of large amounts of nitrogen fertilizers

氮肥的大量使用

caused disruption to this microbial activity

导致了微生物活动的紊乱,

and changed the population dynamics.

改变了微生物种群的动态。

As I said, what used to be a small,

如我所说,以前土壤中

insignificant microbial activity in the soil

这微不足道的微生物活动

has grown into a monstrous proportion,

已经长成了庞然大物,

sucking up all the fertilizer nitrogen [that] we are applying.

吸收掉我们正在施的所有氮肥。

Nature has evolved many solutions

自然界提供了许多对策,

to some of the problems we are facing in agriculture

不仅帮我们解决今天的一些农业问题

and some of the problems we are going to create

甚至包括一些还未制造出来

and face in the future.

但未来终将面对的问题。

What you see over there is a Brachiaria tropical pasture grass.

图上的是臂形热带牧草 (Brachiaria tropical pasture grass)。

It grows extensively in South America.

它广泛产于南美。

It has a unique ability.

它有一种独特的能力。

It produces large amounts of antibiotics from the root systems.

它从根系中产生大量的抗生素。

These antibiotics are specifically directed to this little bacteria,

这种抗生素会直达 一种小小的细菌,

we say the nitrifying bacteria.

即“硝化”细菌。

Because of that, it tightly controls

抗生素抑制了

this nitrifying bacteria function in the soil.

硝化细菌在土壤里的活动。

It doesn't allow it to function.

不让细菌发生反应。

It doesn't kill that bacteria,

它不能杀死细菌,

but it doesn't allow it to function,

但也不会让细菌产生作用,

just keeps them in a kind of coma state.

只是让细菌进入类似休眠的状态。

Because of that,

正因为如此,

you don't see any kind of nitrate formation

在这类热带牧草中

in these tropical pastures.

不会出现任何硝酸盐。

In particular, this tropical pasture grass.

尤其是这个品种的热带牧草。

And also, you don't see any nitrogen gas emitted from these pastures.

它也不会释放任何氮气。

No nitrous oxide is emitted from these pastures

不会释放一氧化二氮,

because it controls these bacteria so tightly

因为它通过根系产生大量抗生素

by producing large amounts of antibiotics from the root systems.

严格控制着这种细菌。

The question is,

问题是,

how do we bring this kind of ability into our crop lands?

我们怎么把这种能力 运用到农田里呢?

Most of our food production comes from four crops:

我们大部分的粮食生产 都来自这 4 种作物:

Wheat, maize, rice and sorghum.

小麦、玉米、水稻和高粱。

These are the four crop that provide the global food security.

这 4 类作物保障了全球粮食供应。

Almost 80 to 90 percent of the food grains are produced from these four crops.

大约 80% 至 90% 的粮食 都来自于这 4 种作物。

And also ...

与此同时,

more than 90 percent

超过 90%

of the entire nitrogen fertilizer produced industrially

工业生产的氮肥

goes to these four production systems.

会进入这 4 种粮食生产系统。

These food crops, the staple crops,

这类作物,大宗作物,

don't have much ability.

没有什么固持氮的能力。

That's the reason they are leaking.

所以氮肥直接流出来了。

So, if you look at this, you see the wild wheat.

图上是野生小麦。

It has the ability to produce 20 to 30 times antibiotics

它可以产生 20 至 30 倍的抗生素。

from the root systems.

从根部系统。

Our group has worked for the last 15 years

我的团队在过去的 15 年里一直在

to try and locate the genomic region

尝试定位负责生产 这些抗生素的基因区域,

responsible for producing these antibiotics

并试图将这个片段移植到

and transfer to the cultivated wheat.

人工栽培的小麦上。

We have done it.

我们已经做到了。

You see that the orange,

大家看图上的橙色区域,

orange is here part of the chromosome that is coming from the wild wheat,

橙色部分是 来自野生小麦的染色体,

which is coding the antibiotics.

它负责为抗生素编码。

We have got that integrated to the wheat genome

我们把这个部分 移入了小麦的基因组,

without disrupting the elite agronomic architecture of the wheat system,

没有影响小麦系统的 优质农业结构,

and also without disrupting the yield potential

没有影响产量潜力,

and without interfering with the bread-making quality of the wheat.

也没有影响用它们 做出的面包的品质。

This new category of wheats we call BNI-wheats,

这一新类别的小麦我们称之为BNI小麦,

the wheats that can produce large amounts of antibiotics

可以产生大量抗生素,

from the root systems

从根部系统

to control this bacteria

抑制细菌的活动,

so that they can control the nitrate production in the root systems.

从而抑制根系里硝酸盐的生成。

Because of this,

正因为如此,

the nitrogen fertilizer, whatever we are applying,

氮肥和我们施下的各种化肥,

would stay in the root-zone, doesn't leak.

都会留在根系中,不会泄漏。

Look at the the BNI wheats, well, it looks quite healthy and green.

看看 BNI小麦,看起来非常健康青翠。

You see the right side,

对比一下右边,

that is the current modern wheats,

是现有的现代小麦,

which leaks out all the nitrogen, whatever we have applied.

我们投下的所有氮都会从中流失。

Both the plants were applied the same amount of nitrogen

我们在同一时间给两片小麦

at exactly the same time.

施用了等量的氮。

In one case, it leaked out.

一个品种会让氮流出。

In the other case, it remained in the farmland.

另一个品种会让氮留在农田里。

These are the BNI wheats.

这些就是 BNI 小麦。

These are the next generation wheats under development.

它们是正在研发中的 下一代小麦。

So in a few years from now,

接下来的几年内,

they will be available to the farmers.

这些小麦会到农民手中。

So our hope is, in the next 10 years,

我们希望在未来 10 年内,

most of the wheats that are grown in different parts of the world

世界各地种植的大部分小麦

would have this kind of ability

都能拥有这种能力,

so that the nitrogen leakage can be stopped

通过根系产生

by infusing these large amounts of antibiotics

大量抗生素,

from the root systems.

阻止氮素流失。

That's what is going to control --

这就是我们找到的,

that's what is going to reduce the amount of nitrogen fertilizer in future ...

能在未来减少氮肥用量的方法。

in wheat root systems.

从小麦的根系中。

Thank you.

谢谢。


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