Freeing phosphorus - Dr. Jaffor Ullah is in the news

Published on July 07, 2006

[Mukto-Mona takes great pride and delight in presenting following piece of news. Many readers/writers of M-M may be are aware that Dr. Jaffor Ullah has been serving in the advisory board of M-M since its beginning. Hearty congrats to Dr. Jaffor Ullah!

-Mukto-Mona Moderation Team]  

The cover story in July 2007 issue of ‘Agricultural Research,’ a research news magazine published by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), highlights research done by me in New Orleans.  Jointly with a Cornell University research team, a USDA colleague and I have developed an enzyme-based technology to free up phosphorus from phytic acid, a phospho-sugar widely found in lentils, soybeans, and other legumes.

According to scientists, phosphorus, a key nutrient, has no recycling mechanism (as compared to Nitrogen) in nature; therefore, when phosphorus compound leaches to ocean through runoff, the nutrient could not be recovered.  If phosphorus is depleted at the current rate, a crisis may develop in the distant future and life form may become extinct.  It is worth mentioning that phosphorus is a key compound in all life forms including humans.  Without it DNA, RNA, high energy-phosphate compounds such as ATP cannot be formed.  Also, plants need phosphorus to perform photosynthesis, which provides food for plants.  It is thus incumbent on us - the scientists - to think about preserving phosphorus in soil. 

Please read the following news story to learn what I have been doing for the last twenty years at Southern Regional Research Center in New Orleans to help mankind to preserve phosphorus.


A. H. Jaffor Ullah 

Ithaca, New York, USA