Plant and Soil

, Volume 152, Issue 1, pp 115-121

First online:

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

  • J. J. Peña-CabrialesAffiliated withCINVESTAV
  • , O. A. Grageda-CabreraAffiliated withCINVESTAV
  • , V. KolaAffiliated withFAO/IAEA Laboratory
  • , G. HardarsonAffiliated withFAO/IAEA Laboratory

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


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 bean nitrogen assimilation nitrogen fixation nitrogen partitioning