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Duckweed

147 bytes added, 15:51, 20 January 2009
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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 minerals out of solution down to just trace concentration. The harvested duckweeds can then enter into a nutrient cycle which may include animal food, biogas digester etc. This way, phosphorus and other nutrients could be bio-accumulated from muddy water even in regions with generally 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 out 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 intendedmaking the plants unsuitable as food for humans. An aeration device such as airstone may then be required. It is important not to agitate the surface, as duckweeds grow best on very quiet water.
= Ideas and applications =
'''Human consumption''':
*duckweed in salad or soup, on a sandwich or as a component of vegetable spread
*as a substitute for: lettuce, spinach, water cress, alfalfa, ... ?)
'''For animals''':
*food for fish food *(e.g. tilapia), chicken food, pigs,
= 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 [http://news.rutgers.edu/medrel/news-releases/2008/07/duckweed-genome-sequ-20080707 sequenced by the end of 2009]. This should greatly improve our understanding of duckweed biology and will likely accelerate genetic research on these plants.
= Links =
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