Plant and Soil

, Volume 120, Issue 1, pp 49–55 | Cite as

Temporal water stress effects on nodulation, nitrogen accumulation and growth of soybean

  • C. Kirda
  • S. K. A. Danso
  • F. Zapata


The N accumulation and growth of regularly watered soybean (Glycine max. L.) plants were compared with those grown under various durations of drought stress varying from 14 to 47 days (D). The stresses were imposed between the V3 (three nodes) and R7 (physiological maturity) growth stages. The stress was defined as eithermild, moderate orsevere, corresponding to (i), a single drought cycle from V3 to R2 (18 D) or R5 to R7 (14 D), (ii) double cycle from V3 to R5 (33 D) or R2 to R7(29 D), and (iii) three continuous cycles from V3 to R7 (47 D), respectively. Plants were harvested at the R7 stage (76 days after planting). The A-values measured by the non-nodulated plants under all treatments were similar (P<0.05), indicating that the available amount of soil N was not changed by drought. However, the A-values assessed by the nodulated plants (which included the N2 fixed), differed significantly among treatments. Except under the longest stress condition, all plants (in both genotypes) absorbed similar amounts of soil N, but N2 fixed in the nodulated plants differed, significantly among treatments. The regularly-watered plants derived the highest amount (68 mg plant−1) and proportion (46.1%) of N from fixation, and the water stresses resulted in significant reductions in N2 fixed. Although the growth of both nodulated and non-nodulated plants, was adversely affected by water stress, this was not as great as was the effect on N2 fixation. Nitrogen fixation was the most sensitive parameter to drought, followed by plant growth, and the least sensitive was soil N uptake.

Key words

A-value drought nitrogen fixation water stress 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Kirda
    • 1
  • S. K. A. Danso
    • 1
  • F. Zapata
    • 2
  1. 1.Joint FAO/IAEA DivisionViennaAustria
  2. 2.FAO/IAEA Agricultural Biotechnology LaboratorySeibersdorfAustria

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