Plant and Soil

, Volume 57, Issue 2, pp 177–186

Nitrogen fixation (acetylene reduction) and cross inoculation in 12 Prosopis (mesquite) species

  • Peter Felker
  • Peter R. Clark

DOI: 10.1007/BF02211677

Cite this article as:
Felker, P. & Clark, P.R. Plant Soil (1980) 57: 177. doi:10.1007/BF02211677


The leguminous tree mesquite (Prosopis spp) exists on millions of hectares of semi-arid regions of the world. No whole plant acetylene reductions for mesquite have been reported in the literature and nodulation has only been reported for three of the forty-four species. We report greenhouse studies in which 12Prosopis species representing African and North and South American germplasm (1) became nodulated when inoculated with rhizobia strain isolated from a North American mesquite, (2) grew on a nitrogen free nutrient media, (3) reduced acetylene to ethylene, and (4) had a positive significant correlation between the acetylene reduction rates and above ground dry matter. The capability of mesquite to fix nitrogen must now be considered firmly established.

Key Words

Drought-adapted legumes Leguminous trees Rangeland improvement Semi-arid soils 

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Felker
    • 1
  • Peter R. Clark
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Soil and Environmental SciencesUniversity of California, RiversideRiverside

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