Peanut studies open the door to better understanding epigenetic mechanisms in plants

Plants encounter microbes all the time, in the air, water, and soil. Some cause disease, others are neutral, but a few microbes promote plant health and growth. Beneficial bacteria, called rhizobia, form an intimate interaction with legumes, inducing the formation of symbiotic root nodules in which bacteria fix nitrogen and provide the plant with an internal source of fertilizer. As a result of this ready supply of nitrogen, legumes, such as peanuts, are valued for their protein-rich seeds and are an important part of the food supply world-wide.

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