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'''Duckweed for bio-mining'''
Duckweeds are excellent concentrators of nitrogen and phosphates. They could be used for [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biomining bio-mining]
of certain elements. They can pull these out of solution down to just trace concentration. This way, phosphorus and other nutrients could be bio-accumulated even in regions with phosphorus-deficient soils . The harvested duckweeds can then be inserted into a nutrient cycle which may include animal food, a biogas digester etc.
= Challenges =
A full layer of duckweed will
out block most sunlight from deeper levels of a pond. Therefore, algal blooms are eliminated , a desired effect. However, the lack of sunlight at those deeper levels may also lead to low-oxygen conditions. As a result, anaerobic bacteria may proliferate, creating challenges when human consumption of duckweed is intended. An aeration device such as airstone may be required. It is important not to agitate the surface, as duckweeds grow best on very quiet water.
= Ideas and applications =
*duckweed in salad or soup, on a sandwich or as a component of vegetable spread
*as a substitute for: lettuce, spinach, water cress
, alfalfa, ... ?)
food *chicken food
= New Strains =
[insert here: information on new breeds, optimized for specific uses, higher yields, more lipids, different taste, more specific bio-accumulation etc.].
The duckweed genome is expected to be fully sequenced by the end of 2009. This should greatly accelerate genetic research on these plants.
= Links =