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Differential nodulation tolerance to nitrate among legume species

Differential nodulation tolerance to nitrate among legume species

Crop Science 24(4): 797-801

Eight legume species were grown in hydroponic culture in controlled environment (CERES phytotron) facilities to determine if the species exhibited differential modulation tolerance to nitrate nutrition (0, 1.0 and 4.0 mM initial concentrations, allowed to deplete with plant growth). Visible nodule appearance on roots of lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.), pea (Pisum sativum L.), subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum L.), chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), and siratro (Macroptilium atropurpureum (DC.) Urb.] was less sensitive to nitrate than that on roots of soybean [Glycine max (L.), Merr.], lablab bean [Lablab purpureus (L.) Sweet], and barrel medic (Medicago truncatula Gaertn.). The latter species also showed marked inhibition of nitrogenase (acetylene reduction [N2 fixation]) activity with 1.0 mM nitrate treatments, compared with respective 0 mM nitrate controls. The other 5 spp. showed similar or higher nitrogenase activity with the 1.0 mM nitrate treatment than with the respective controls. Nitrogenase activity with the 4 mM nitrate treatment was severely (> 90%-lupin, chickpea, siratro, soybean, barrel medic, lablab bean), moderately (69%-pea) or slightly (27%-sub clover) inhibited, relative to respective controls. Rates of nitrate depletion from solution and levels of nitrate reductase activity in leaves and roots varied appreciably among species, however no clear relationship was evident that either rate of NO3- uptake or site of NO3- metabolism was responsible for the differential delays in nodule appearance. Of the species compared, nitrogenase activity of sub clover was least affected by the 4 mM nitrate treatment, and the amount of nitrate remaining in the nutrient solution at the end of the experimental period was greatest for this treatment combination. This indicated that efforts to overcome the inhibitory effect of nitrate on legume modulation should possibly concentrate on limiting the uptake and/or metabolism of nitrate.

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Accession: 001336270

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DOI: 10.2135/cropsci1984.0011183x002400040040x

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