Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 219–224

Ability of free-living cells ofBradyrhizobium japonicum to denitrify in soils

  • G. A. Breitenbeck
  • J. M. Bremner

DOI: 10.1007/BF00709652

Cite this article as:
Breitenbeck, G.A. & Bremner, J.M. Biol Fert Soils (1989) 7: 219. doi:10.1007/BF00709652


Experiments to assess the ability of free-living cells of six strains of soybean rhizobia (Bradyrhizobium japonicum USDA 76, 94, 110, 122, 123, and 135) to denitrify nitrate in five soils showed that although some strains ofB. japonicum have the capacity to rapidly denitrify nitrate in soils under anaerobic conditions, it is unlikely that the numbers of soybean rhizobia commonly found under field conditions are sufficient to significantly influence either the extent or the products of denitrification in soil. It is our general conclusion that the advantages, if any, that the ability to denitrify conveys to rhizobia or to the rhizobia-legume symbiosis are not offset by increased losses of plant-available N when denitrifying strains of rhizobia are present as free-living cells in soil.

Key words

Soybean rhizobiaDenitrificationNitrateNitrous oxideBradyrhizobium japonicum

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. A. Breitenbeck
    • 1
  • J. M. Bremner
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Agronomy, Louisiana Agricultural Experiment StationLouisiana State University Agricultural CenterBaton RougeUSA
  2. 2.Department of AgronomyIowa State UniversityAmesUSA