Plant and Soil

, 220:119 | Cite as

Phosphorus use efficiency and nitrogen balance of cowpea breeding lines in a low P soil of the derived savanna zone in West Africa

  • N. Sanginga
  • O. Lyasse
  • B.B. Singh


Differences in growth, nodulation and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) root infection among recent cowpea breeding lines from IITA were examined at low and high P levels in pot (94 lines) and field experiments (43 lines) at Fashola in the derived savanna zone of Nigeria. Based on their growth performance, these lines were subdivided into 5 groups: (i) poor performance under low and high P conditions; (ii) good performance under low P and poor performance under high P; (iii) intermediate performance under high and low P; (iv) good performance under high and low P conditions; and (v) good performance under high P and poor performance under low P. About 42% of the breeding lines (18 out of 43 lines tested) had the same grouping for the field and pot experiments. Eight cowpea lines (4 P-responders and 4 non-P-responders) were selected from the first experiment for subsequent studies on the effect of P supply (0, 20, 40 and 60 kg P ha-1) on P uptake, P use efficiency, dry matter production, N-fixation, AMF infection and N balance. Dry matter production, shoot/root ratio, total shoot N, and total N-fixed of the non-P-responder line, IT81D-715, were strongly related to P uptake efficiency. The P-responder IT81D-849 had a significant (95%) correlation between AMF and P-use efficiency. The cowpea lines fixed on average 22 kg N ha-1, which was 70% of the plant total N. The N balance based on the difference between the amount of N2 fixed and N exported through the harvest, ranged between −10.6 kg N ha-1 and +7.7 kg N ha-1. Based on its adaptability to grow in low P soils and overall positive N balance, the cowpea line IT81D-715 should be recommended for cultivation when P is the limiting factor.

arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) N2 fixation N harvest index P uptake cowpea (Vigna unguiculataP use efficiency 


  1. Abdelgadir A H 1998 The role of mycorrhizae in soybean growth in P-deficient soil in the humid tropics. PhD. Thesis. Cornell University. 255 p.Google Scholar
  2. Bationo S, Mughogho S K and Mokwunye A 1986 Management of nitrogen fertilizers for tropical African soils. In Management of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers in sub-saharan Africa. Eds A Mokwunye and P L G Vlek. pp 283–318. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.Google Scholar
  3. Danso S K A 1992 Biological Nitrogen fixation in tropical agrosystems: Twenty years of biological nitrogen fixation research in Africa. In Biological Nitrogen Fixation and Sustainability of Tropical Agriculture. Eds K Mulongoy, M Gueye and D S C Spencer. pp 3–13. John Wiley & Sons Ltd., Chichester, UK.Google Scholar
  4. Eaglesham A R J, Ayanaba A, Rao V R and Eskew D L 1982 Mineral N effects on cowpea and soybean crops in a Nigeria soil. Plant Soil 68, 171–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Giovannetti M and Mosse B 1980 An evaluation of techniques for measuring Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal infection in roots. New Phytol. 84, 489–500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gunawardena S F B N, Danso S K A and Zapata F 1993 Phosphorus requirements and N2 accumulation by three mungbean (Vigna radiata (L) Wewlzek) cultivars. Plant Soil 147, 267–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hardarson G and Danso S K A 1993 Methods for measuring biological nitrogen fixation in grain legumes. Plant Soil 152, 19–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) 1989 Automated and semi-automated methods for soil and plant analysis. Manual series No 7, IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria.Google Scholar
  9. Mortimore M J, Singh B B, Harris F and Blade S F 1997 Cowpea in traditional cropping systems. In Advances in Cowpea Research. Eds B B Singh, D R Mohan Raj, K E Dashiell and L E N Jackai. pp 99–113. IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria.Google Scholar
  10. Peoples M B and Craswell E T 1992 Biological nitrogen fixation: Investments, expectations and actual contributions to agriculture. In Biological Nitrogen Fixation for Sustainable Agriculture. Eds J K Ladha, T George and B B Bohlool. pp 13–40. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.Google Scholar
  11. Phillips JM and Hayman D S 1970 Improved procedure for clearing roots and staining parasitic and Vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi for rapid assessment of infection. Trans. Brit. Myc. Soc. 55, 158–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Quin F M1997 Introduction. In Advances in Cowpea Research. Eds B B Singh, D R Mohan Raj, K E Dashiell and L E N Jackai pp ix-xv. IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria.Google Scholar
  13. Sample E C, Soper R J and Racz G J 1980 Reactions of phosphate fertilizers in soils. In The role of Phosphorus in Agriculture. Eds F E Khasawneh, E C Sample and E J Kamprath. pp 263–310. Am. Soc. Agron., Madison, Wisconson, USA.Google Scholar
  14. Singh B B, Chambliss O L and Sharma B 1997 Recent advances in cowpea breeding. In Advances in Cowpea Research. Eds B B Singh, D R Mohan Raj, K E Dashiell and L E N Jackai. pp 30–49 IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria.Google Scholar
  15. Statistical Analysis System Insititute Inc. 1989 SAS/STAT User's Guide. 4th edn., Vol. 1, SAS, Cary, NC, USA.Google Scholar
  16. Vincent JM1970 A manual for the practical study of the root nodule bacteria. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Sanginga
  • O. Lyasse
  • B.B. Singh

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations