Plant and Soil

, Volume 152, Issue 1, pp 115–121

Time course of N2 fixation in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.)


  • J. J. Peña-Cabriales
  • O. A. Grageda-Cabrera
  • V. Kola
    • FAO/IAEA Laboratory
  • G. Hardarson
    • FAO/IAEA Laboratory

DOI: 10.1007/BF00016340

Cite this article as:
Peña-Cabriales, J.J., Grageda-Cabrera, O.A., Kola, V. et al. Plant Soil (1993) 152: 115. doi:10.1007/BF00016340


Field and greenhouse experiments were conducted to assess the nitrogen fixation rates of four cultivars of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) at different growth stages. The 15N isotope dilution technique was used to quantify biological nitrogen fixation. In the greenhouse, cultivars M4403 and Kallmet accumulated 301 and 189 mg N plant−1, respectively, up to 63 days after planting (DAP) of which 57 and 43% was derived from atmosphere. Under field conditions, cultivars Bayocel and Flor de Mayo RMC accumulated in 77 DAP, 147 and 135 kg N ha−1, respectively, of which approximately one-half was derived from the atmosphere. The rates of N2 fixation determined at different growth stages increased as the plants developed, and reached a maximum during the reproductive stage both under field and greenhouse conditions. Differences in translocation of N were observed between the cultivars tested, particularly under field conditions. Thus, the fixed N harvest index was 93 and 60 for cultivars Flor de Mayo and Bayocel, respectively. In early stages of growth, the total content of ureides in the plants correlated with the N fixation rates. The findings reported in the present paper can be used to build a strategy for enhancing biological N2 fixation in common bean.

Key words

common beannitrogen assimilationnitrogen fixationnitrogen partitioning

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993