Manipulating nitrogen regulation in diazotrophic bacteria for agronomic benefit.
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Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) is controlled by intricate regulatory mechanisms to ensure that fixed nitrogen is readily assimilated into biomass and not released to the environment. Understanding the complex regulatory circuits that couple nitrogen fixation to ammonium assimilation is a prerequisite for engineering diazotrophic strains that can potentially supply fixed nitrogen to non-legume crops. In this review, we explore how the current knowledge of nitrogen metabolism and BNF regulation may allow strategies for genetic manipulation of diazotrophs for ammonia excretion and provide a contribution towards solving the nitrogen crisis.