, Volume 166, Issue 2, pp 181-185

Transfer of nitrogen from damaged roots of white clover (Trifolium repens L.) to closely associated roots of intact perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L)

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An experiment is described in which the magnitude of N transferred from damaged white clover roots to perennial ryegrass was determined, using 15N labelling of the grass plant. There was no effect on the growth and N-fixation of the clover plants after removing part of the root system. The 15N data suggested that N had been acquired by all grass plants, even in plants grown alone with no further N supplied after labelling. However, after quantifying the mobile and stored N pools of the grass plants it was evident that significant transfer of N from clover to grass only took place from damaged clover roots. Dilution of the atom% 15N in the roots of the grass plants grown alone, and in association with undamaged clover roots, was explained by remobilisation of N within the plant.