Plant and Soil

, Volume 174, Issue 1–2, pp 143–180 | Cite as

Manipulation of rhizobia microflora for improving legume productivity and soil fertility: A critical assessment

  • John Brockwell
  • Peter J. Bottomley
  • Janice E. Thies


Inputs of biologically fixed nitrogen derived from the symbiotic relationship between legumes and their root-nodule bacteria into terrestrial ecosystems amount to at least 70 million metric tons per year. It is obvious that this enormous quantity will need to be augmented as the world's population increases and as the natural resources that supply fertilizer nitrogen diminish. This objective will be achieved through the development of superior legume varieties, improvement in agronomic practice, and increased efficiency of the nitrogen fixation process itself by better management of the symbiotic relationship between plant and bacteria. This paper considers ways and means by which populations of root-nodule bacteria, established and introduced, can be manipulated ecologically, agronomically, edaphically and genetically to improve legume productivity and, as a consequence, soil fertility.

Key words

Azorhizobium Bradyrhizobium inoculation legumes N2 fixation nodulation rhizobial ecology Rhizobium symbiosis taxonomy 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Brockwell
    • 1
  • Peter J. Bottomley
    • 2
  • Janice E. Thies
    • 3
  1. 1.CSIRO Division of Plant IndustryCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA
  3. 3.School of Agriculture and Rural DevelopmentUniversity of Western Sydney (Hawkesbury)RichmondAustralia

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