Physiological Aspects of Growth and Development of Vicia faba

Part of the World Crops: Production, Utilization, and Description book series (WCPU, volume 4)


This study was initiated to establish the pattern of nitrate uptake, nitrate reduction and nitrogen fixation by Vicia faba at an experimental farm. Nitrate uptake was estimated by measuring the nitrate reductase activity (NRA) on the youngest developing leaf. Nitrogen fixation (NF) was measured with the acetylene reduction assay on root systems. The highest NRA occurred at the end of flowering two weeks before the highest NF was recorded during mid pod filling. NRA was correlated with the rainfall. After a period of rainfall the NRA decreased, whereas the NF increased. From these results it was inferred that the decrease in NF activity during the vegetative period up to the end of flowering was due to flooding or rainfall resulted in a higher uptake of nitrate which caused a reduction of NF activity. Nitrate fertilisation did not increase seed yield and suppressed NF.

Growth and development of plants grown hydroponically in a growth chamber depended strongly on temperature. Developmental stages were plotted against data on accumulated daily temperatures in a growth chamber experiment. An attempt was made to use these kind of data to predict certain developmental growth stages under field conditions.


Nitrogen Fixation Seed Yield Nitrate Reductase Activity Nitrate Uptake Night Temperature 
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Copyright information

© ECSC, EEC, EAEC, Brussels-Luxembourg 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Agrobiological ResearchWageningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyAgricultural UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

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