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Author Topic: Sustainable Food Production  (Read 2981 times)

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Re: Sustainable Food Production
« on: July 15, 2016, 03:32:22 pm »
Azolla: Another floating, fast growing wonder plant like duckweed with great promise in a variety of applications that will aid us in establishing a sustainable civilization. 

Azolla BioSystems Ltd

Azolla BioSystems uses a natural biological process to reduce the threat of man-made climate change by converting the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) directly into a unique free-floating plant called Azolla.

Azolla Biosystems is currently developing opportunities and commodities in eight sectors:

Design including architectural development of Azolla Hubs

Sequestration including the development of new Azolla strains

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) including Azolla’s conversion into bioplastics and biopolymers

Biofuels produced from Azolla, and its integration with the production of algoil (algal-oil) and other
renewable biofuels

Biofertilizers including its use in rice production and other crops

Livestock Feed including the production of long shelf-life Azolla pellets

Food including hydroponics, and aquaponics

Research & Development including high-value pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, bioplastics and biopolymers.

These form the basis of the Azolla BioSystem that we have developed – a flexible, modular biological system that can be adapted to local needs anywhere in the world.

We welcome your input and interest in joining us on our exciting journey.

About Azolla

Azolla is a unique freshwater fern that is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet due to its symbiotic relationship with a cyanobacterium (‘blue-green alga’) called Anabaena. Anabaena draws down the atmospheric nitrogen that fertilizes Azolla, and Azolla provides a nitrogen-filled home for Anabaena within its leaf cavities. This enables the plant to double its biomass in as little as two days free floating on water as shallow as one inch (2.4 cm).

Azolla‘s rapid growth makes it a potentially important sequester of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide which is converted directly into Azolla‘s biomass. This provides local livestock feed, biofertilizer and biofuel wherever Azolla is grown, so that this remarkable plant has the potential to help us weather the Perfect Storm – the related threats of man-made climate change and shortages of food and land as our population passes seven billion.

Why is Azolla Unique?

Azolla is unique because it is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet – yet it does not need any soil to grow. Unlike almost all other plants, Azolla is able to get its nitrogen fertilizer directly from the atmosphere. That means that it is able to produce biofertilizer, livestock feed, food and biofuel exactly where they are needed and, at the same time, draw down large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere, thus helping to reduce the threat of climate change.

How is it able to do this?

Azolla and Anabaena – the Perfect Marriage

Azolla is able to do this because it has a unique mutually beneficial ‘symbiotic relationship‘ with a cyanobacterium (blue-green alga) called Anabaena.

The symbiotic relationship between Anabaena on the left and Azolla on the right.

Each partner gives something to the other in this Perfect Marriage. Because oxygen is poisonous to cyanobacteria, Azolla provides an oxygen-free environment for Anabaena within its leaves. In return, Anabaena sequesters nitrogen directly from the atmosphere which then becomes available for Azolla’s growth, freeing it from the soil that is needed by most other land plants for their nitrogen fertilization.

The oldest Azolla fossils are more than 70 million years old, representing the remains of plants that lived during the Late Cretaceous Period when dinosaurs roamed the earth. They occur in sediments that were deposited in quiescent freshwater bodies, such as lakes, ponds and sluggish rivers, identical to those inhabited by modern Azolla.

Fossil Azolla (left) has leaves (circled above in red) and tendrils (circled in blue) that are identical to those of modern Azolla (right). The fossil is from the Green River Formation of Colorado, dated between 50.5 and 55.5 million years. The photograph was kindly provided by Dr Ian Miller of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Several other symbioses are known between plants and cyanobacteria – for example in legumes – but the Azolla-Anabaena relationship is the only known symbiosis in which a cyanobacterium passes directly to subsequent generations via the plant’s reproductive sporangia and spores.

So Azolla and Anabaena have never been apart for 70 million years. During that Immense period of time, the two partners have co-evolved numerous complementary ways that make them increasingly efficient.

Agelbert NOTE: IF the above symbiosis has been continuous for 70 million years, I question the "co-evolve" assumption. The evidence points to the same relationship without changes. I don't see evidence of co-evolution, or evolution, for that matter, in this marvelous symbiosis of genetically disparate and unrelated life forms. It looks more like they started out the way.

The Azolla Superorganism: A unique biological system

In 2010, our Associate Francisco Carrapiço proposed that Azolla-Anabaena should be designated as a superorganism “because of its unique symbiosis in which the two partners have successful co-evolved into a system that makes important contributions to ecology, biofertilization and biotechnology” (Carrapiço, 2010).

The Challenge

The challenge, then, is to work with Azolla and use its remarkable properties to help us weather the Perfect Storm that now threatens us and the other species with whom we share our planet.
You can find more details about Azolla, its history, and its multiple uses on our information website The Azolla Foundation.


Agelbert NOTE: Azolla can be feed to chickens, cows and other livestock. Ducks love Azolla as much as they love duckwweed!

Baby ducks eating Azolla
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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