Plant and Soil

, Volume 258, Issue 1, pp 91–101 | Cite as

Seasonal N uptake and N2fixation by common and adzuki bean at various spacings

  • Sonoko D. Kimura
  • Knut Schmidtke
  • Ryosuke Tajima
  • Koichi Yoshida
  • Hiroshi Nakashima
  • Rolf Rauber


The adzuki bean (Vigna angularis (Wild.) Ohwi and Ohashi) and common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) have a high physiological demand for N. A 2-year field study was conducted to investigate the seasonal change of available soil N and symbiotic N2 fixation usage. The beans were seeded at two densities, 22.2 plants m−2 with a row spacing of 0.3 m and 11.1 plants m−2 with a row spacing of 0.6 m. The amount of fixed N2 in the shoot was calculated using the 15N natural abundance method. The common bean demonstrated low N2 fixation and the ability to accumulate high levels of soil N. Soil nitrate under the common bean was continually absorbed. The adzuki bean, on the other hand, had a remarkable peak of N accumulation in the early reproductive stage. This was mainly due to N2 fixation, though the soil nitrate level was high. Narrowing the plant row spacing increased the dry matter yield of both species, but the origin of the increased N differed between the species. For the first 77 DAP in 1999 (73 DAP in 2000) the N increase for both beans was due to both soil and atmospheric N2. At harvest, though, the increase of N in common bean was mainly due to soil N, while that in adzuki bean was mainly due to atmospheric N2. It can be concluded that the low symbiotic N2 fixation ability of common bean was due to its high soil N uptake ability and constant N accumulation, which enabled an efficient soil N absorption. Adzuki bean absorbed N mainly for a short period and depended more on symbiotically fixed N2 and, in contrast to common bean, left a high level of NO3-N remaining in the soil after cropping.

adzuki bean common bean N2 fixation plant available soil N row spacing N uptake pattern 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Arima Y 1993 Nitrogen uptake, root nodulation, dinitrogen fixation activity and soluble sugar content of nodules in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) under low basal application of 15N ammonium sulfate: a comparative study with soybean. Jpn. J. Soil Sci. Plant Nutr. 64, 118–125.Google Scholar
  2. Arima Y and Shirai M 1996 High sensitivity of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) in root nodule formation and dinitrogen fixation to basally dressed combined-nitrogen; a comparative study with soybean. Jpn. J. Soil Sci. Plant Nutr. 67, 605–612.Google Scholar
  3. Blackshaw R E, Muendel H H and Saindon G 1999 Canopy architecture, row spacing and plant density effects on yield of dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) in the absence and presence of hairy nightshade (Solanum sarrachoides). Can. J. Plant Sci. 79, 663–669.Google Scholar
  4. Brockwell J, Andrews J A, Gault R R, Gemell L G, Griffith G W, Herridge D F, Holland J F, Karsono S, Peoples M B, Roughley R J, Thompson J A and Troedson R J 1991 Erratic nodulation and nitrogen fixation in field-grown pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.]. Aust. J. Exp. Agric. 31, 653–661.Google Scholar
  5. Board J E and Harville B G 1996 Growth dynamics during the vegetative period affects yield of narrow-row, late-planted soybean. Agron. J. 88, 567–572.Google Scholar
  6. Danso S K A, Harderson G and Zapata F 1993 Misconceptions and practical problems in the use of 15N soil enrichment techniques for estimating N2 fixation. Plant Soil 152, 25–52.Google Scholar
  7. Duke J A 1981 Handbook of Legumes of World Economic Importance. pp. 288–291. Plenum Press, New York, London.Google Scholar
  8. George T and Singleton P W 1992 Nitrogen assimilation traits and dinitrogen fixation in soybean and common bean. Agron. J. 84, 1020–1028.Google Scholar
  9. Hauggaard-Nielsen H, Ambus P and Jensen E.S 2001 Temporal and spatial distribution of roots and competition for nitrogen in pea-barley intercrops — a field study employing 32P technique. Plant Soil 236, 63–74.Google Scholar
  10. Henson R A and Bliss F A 1991 Effects of fertilizer application timing on common bean production. Fertil. Res. 29, 133–138.Google Scholar
  11. Herridge D F, Marcellos H, Felton W L, Turner G L and Peoples M B 1995 Chickpea increases soil-N fertility in cereal systems through nitrate sparing and N2 fixation. Soil Biol. Biochem. 27, 545–551.Google Scholar
  12. Isoi T and Yoshida S 1991 Low nitrogen fixation of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Soil Sci. Plant Nutr. 37, 559–563.Google Scholar
  13. Justus M and Köpke U 1995 Strategies to avoid nitrogen losses via leaching and to increase precrop effects when growing faba beans. Biol. Agric. Hortic. 11, 145–155.Google Scholar
  14. Kage H 1997 Is low rooting density of faba beans a cause of high residual nitrate content of soil at harvest? Plant Soil 190, 47–60.Google Scholar
  15. Kato K, Arima Y and Hirata H 1997 Effect of exudate released from seeds and seedling roots of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) on proliferation of Rhizobium sp. (phaseoli). Soil Sci. Plant Nutr. 43, 275–283.Google Scholar
  16. Kucey R M N 1989 The influence of rate and time of mineral N application on yield and N2 fixation by field bean. Can. J. Plant Sci. 69, 427–436.Google Scholar
  17. Ledgard S F and Peoples M B 1988 Measurement of nitrogen fixation in the field. In Advances in Nitrogen Cycling in Agricultural Ecosystems. Ed. J R Wilson. pp. 351–361. CAB International, Wallington.Google Scholar
  18. Martínez-Romero E, Herandez L I, Peña-Cabriales J J and Castellanos J Z 1998 Symbiotic performance of some modified Rhizobium etli strains in assays with Phaseolus vulgaris beans that have a high capacity to fix N2. Plant Soil 204, 89–94.Google Scholar
  19. Müller S H and Pereira P A A 1995 Nitrogen fixation of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) as affected by mineral nitrogen supply at different growth stages. Plant Soil 177, 55–61.Google Scholar
  20. Peña-Cabriales J J, Gradega-Cabrera O A, Kola V and Hardarson G 1993 Time course of N2 fixation in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Plant Soil 152, 115–122.Google Scholar
  21. Redden R, Desborough P, Tompkins W, Usher T and Kelly A 2001 Response of adzuki bean as affected by row spacing, plant density and variety. Aust. J. Exp. Agric. 41, 235–243.Google Scholar
  22. Rennie R J and Kemp G A 1983 15N-determined time course for N2 fixation in two cultivars of field bean. Agron. J. 76, 146–154.Google Scholar
  23. Reiter K, Schmidtke K and Rauber R 2002 Estimation of symbiotic N2 fixation by a low-level, large-scale 15N application technique. Soil Biol. Biochem. 34, 303–314.Google Scholar
  24. Robinson R G 1983 Yield and composition of field bean and adzuki bean in response to irrigation, compost, and nitrogen. Agron. J. 75, 31–35.Google Scholar
  25. Rochester I J, Peoples M B, Constable G A and Gault R R 1998 Faba beans and other legumes add nitrogen to irrigated cotton cropping systems. Aust. J. Exp. Agric. 38, 253–260.Google Scholar
  26. Sacks F M 1977 A literature review of Phaseolus angularis — The adsuki bean. Econ. Bot. 31, 9–15.Google Scholar
  27. Sawaguchi M and Nomura K 1980 Growth and nitrogen uptake by adzuki bean cultivars. Bull. Hokkaido Prefectural Agric. Exp. Stations 43, 1–11.Google Scholar
  28. Shearer G and Kohl D H 1986 N2-fixation in field settings: estimations based on natural 15N abundance. Aust. J. Plant Physiol. 13, 699–756.Google Scholar
  29. Tanaka N 1971 Studies on the growth of root systems in leguminous crop plants. 8. Three types of secondary thickening growth of the main root. Jpn. J. Crop Sci. 40, 69–74.Google Scholar
  30. Thies J E, Singleton P W and Bohlool 1995 Phenology, growth, and yield of field-grown soybean and bushbean as a function of varying modes of N nutrition. Soil Biol. Biochem. 27, 575–583.Google Scholar
  31. Vásquez-Arroyo J, Sessitsch A, Martínez E and Peña-Cabriales J J 1998 Nitrogen fixation and nodule occupancy by native strains of Rhizobium on different cultivars of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Plant Soil 204, 147–154.Google Scholar
  32. Witty J F 1983 Estimating N2-fixation in the field using 15N-labelled fertilizer: some problems and solutions. Soil Biol. Biochem. 15, 631–639.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonoko D. Kimura
    • 1
  • Knut Schmidtke
    • 2
  • Ryosuke Tajima
    • 3
  • Koichi Yoshida
    • 4
  • Hiroshi Nakashima
    • 4
  • Rolf Rauber
    • 2
  1. 1.Research Group of Regional EnvironmentGraduate School of Agriculture Hokkaido UniversityNishi 9, HokkaidoJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Agronomy and Plant BreedingUniversity of GöttingenGöttingenGermany
  3. 3.Research Group of Northern Bioresources and EcologyGraduate School of Agriculture Hokkaido UniversityHokkaidoJapan
  4. 4.Field Science Center for Northern BiosphereHokkaido UniversityHokkaidoJapan

Personalised recommendations