Changes in 15N natural abundance of biologically fixed N2 in soybean due to shading, rhizobium strain and plant growth stage
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The evaluation of 15N abundance of N derived from biological N2 fixation (BNF) in legume shoots (‘B S ’ value) is essential for quantifying BNF inputs to field-grown legumes. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of shading, development stage of soybean (Glycine max) and rhizobium strain on the ‘B S ’ value.
Soybean plants were grown in pots of autoclaved sand/perlite mixture in the open field. Plants were harvested at weekly intervals from 46 days after planting (DAP) to 75 DAP. All material was analysed for N and 15N abundance. ‘B S ’ was calculated assuming 50% of seed N was translocated to the shoots.
‘B S ’ was stable until 60 DAP but subsequently increased for the three strains tested. Nodule efficiency (N2 fixed g DM nodule−1) was greatly increased by shading and was significantly different between Bradyrhizobium species. ‘B S ’ was greatly increased by shading.
We recommend that ‘B S ’ should be evaluated on plants of the same development stage and light intensity as those where BNF is quantified in the field. Different Bradyrhizobium strains make a large impact on ‘B S ’ and may lead to considerable errors in estimation of BNF inputs to plants with high %N derived from BNF.
Keywords15N natural abundance B value Biological nitrogen fixation Bradyrhizobium spp. Light intensity Soybean
% N derived from air
Biological nitrogen fixation
B value of shoot tissue
B value of whole plant
Days after planting
The authors thank Dr Nivaldo Schultz for arranging the irrigation/nutrient solution system, Alderi F. da Silva, Aurelio de S. Chagas, Cláudio P. Ferreira, Enivaldo Maia, Ernani C. de Meirelles and Roberto C. da S. Ramos for help in setting up and tending to the plants and to Dr Renato M. da Rocha for meticulous work on the isotope-ratio mass spectrometers. The authors KECA e CV gratefully acknowledge postgraduate fellowships from the Ministry of Education (CAPES) and APG, CPJ, SU, BJRA and RMB fellowships from the National Research Council (CNPq) and the Rio State Research Foundation (FAPERJ). The work was funded by CNPq, FAPERJ and Embrapa.
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