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Symbiosis

, Volume 48, Issue 1–3, pp 154–163 | Cite as

Nitrogen fixation with the soybean crop in Brazil: Compatibility between seed treatment with fungicides and bradyrhizobial inoculants

  • Rubens José Campo
  • Ricardo Silva Araujo
  • Mariangela Hungria
Article

Abstract

Biological nitrogen fixation with the soybean crop can be improved by seed inoculation with superiorBradyrhizobium strains, but factors that reducethe population of inoculated bradyrhizobiaon the seedwill directly affect the efficiency of the process. Seed treatment with fungicides has been broadly practiced as cheap insurance against seed-and soil-borne pathogens, but toxicity of most fungicides to bradyrhizobia has often been underestimated. The compatibility between seed treatment with fungicides in single or mixed applications (including Benomyl, Captan, Carbendazin, Carboxin, Difenoconazole, Thiabendazole, Thiram, Tolylfluanid) and bradyrhizobial inoculants was examined in laboratory, greenhouse and field experiments during five crop seasons in Brazil. Bacterial survivalon the seeds was severely affected by all fungicides, resulting in mortalities of up to 62% after only 2 h and of 95% after 24 h. Fungicides also reduced nodule number, total N in grains and decreased yield by up to 17%. The toxic effects of fungicides were more drastic in sandy soils without soybean inoculation and cropping history, reducing nodulation by up to 87%, but were also important in areas with established populations of soybean bradyrhizobia. Therefore, fungicides should be used only when the seeds or soil are contaminated with pathogens, otherwise biological N2 fixation may be severely affected.

Keywords

Bradyrhizobium inoculation soybean fungicides toxicity 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rubens José Campo
    • 1
  • Ricardo Silva Araujo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mariangela Hungria
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Embrapa SojaLondrinaBrazil
  2. 2.Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnológico (CNPq-MCT)Brasilia, Federal DistrictBrazil

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