Plant and Soil

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 391–404 | Cite as

Non-photosynthetic effects of red and far-red light on root-nodule formation by leguminous plants

  • T. A. Lie


Nodulation of pea and broad bean plants grown in the light was found to be reduced when the roots were exposed to far-red light for 5–15 minutes daily during 5 consecutive days following inoculation with nodule bacteria. Similar results were obtained following a single exposure to far-red light during a period of 15 minutes at the 3rd or 4th day after inoculation. When the roots were exposed to far-red light either before inoculation or during the first two days afterwards there were either no effects or only slight effects on nodulation The inhibitory effect of far-red light on nodulation was partly reduced by subsequent exposure to red light, provided that the same part of the plant was exposed to both red and far-red light,viz either the root or the shoot. When different parts of the plant were exposed to red and far-red light respectively, there was no interaction between the two kinds of light on nodulation. Plants whose roots were exposed to far-red light did not subsequently show stem elongation.

Nodules were found to develop on the roots of pea plants grown in the dark, provided that the plants were kept at or below 22°C. At 25°C nodulation was almost absent. Nodulation was decreased by addition of kinetin and IAA. In contrast to plants grown in the light pea plants grown in the dark, inoculated with either an effective or ineffective strain of Rhizobium, developed equal numbers of nodules. Exposure to red light slightly increased the percentage of nodulated plants but decreased the number of nodules per plant. Exposure to far-red light slightly decreased both the percentage of nodulated plants and the number of nodules per plant. The effect of far-red light was counteracted by red light andvice versa.


Nodule Plant Physiology Rhizobium Kinetin Bean Plant 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Borthwick, H. A. and Hendricks, S. B., Photoperiodism in plants. Science132, 1223–1229 (1960).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Furuya, M. and Hillman, W. S., Observations on spectrophotometrically assayable phytochrome in vivo in etiolatedPisum seedlings. Planta63, 31–42 (1964).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Furuya, M. and Torrey, J. G., The reversible inhibition by red and far-red light of auxin-induced lateral root initiation in isolated pea roots. Plant Physiol.39, 987–991 (1964).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hillman, W. S., The physiology of phytochrome. Ann. Rev. Plant Physiol.18, 301–324 (1967).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lie, T. A., Nodulation of leguminous plants as affected by root secretions and red light. Ph.D. Thesis, Veenman en Zonen, Wageningen (1964).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    McGonagle, M. P., The effect of certain factors on the formation of root nodules on pea plants in aseptic cultures. Proc. Roy. Soc. Edinburgh B63, 219–229 (1949).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Mohr, H., Primary effects of light on growth. Ann. Rev. Plant Physiol.13, 465–488 (1962).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Rudin, P. E., Versuche zur Physiologie der Knölchenbildung beiPisum sativum L. Phytopath. Z.26, 57–80 (1956).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Schreven, D. A. van, The effect of added sugars and nitrogen on nodulation of legumes. Plant and Soil11, 93–112 (1959).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Wilson, J. K., Nodule production in etiolated vetch seedlings. Phytopathology21, 1083–1085 (1931).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wilson, P. W., The biochemistry of Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation. Madison (1940).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. A. Lie
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of MicrobiologyAgricultural UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations