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.

Sincerely,

A. H. Jaffor Ullah 

Ithaca, New York, USA