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Release of soluble protein and nitrogen in alfalfa medicago sativa 1. influence of growth temperature and soil moisture



Release of soluble protein and nitrogen in alfalfa medicago sativa 1. influence of growth temperature and soil moisture



Crop Science 21(6): 843-849



A study was conducted to determine whether growth temperature or soil moisture availability at different growth temperatures would influence concentration of several N fractions released from alfalfa. 'Ramsey', 'Saranac' and 'Deseret' alfalfa cultivars were grown at 18/10, 26/18, and 34/26.degree. C (day/night) with a 16-h photoperiod (3 .times. 3 factorial). Total N (TN), total soluble N (TSN), soluble nonprotein N (SNPN), and soluble protein N (SPN) were determined. As the temperature increased, the mean concentration of TN, TSN and SNPN increased in leaves, stems, and total forage. The greatest concentration of SPN in leaves occured at 26/18.degree. C (.hivin.x of 11.5 mg/g dry wt), compared to 18/10.degree. C (.hivin.x of 9.9) or 34/26 C (.hivin.x of 10.4). The mean SPN concentration in stems increased as temperature increased from 2.7 mg N/g dry wt at 18/10.degree. C to 3.0 mg at 26/18.degree. C and 3.7 mg at 34/26.degree. C. The total forage of any cultivar grown at any temperature contained approximately 6.6 mg SPN/g dry wt, except 'Deseret' grown at 18/10.degree. C contained 5.6 mg SPN/g dry wt. The apparent bloat potential, estimated as SPN release, of alfalfa leaves of all cultivars grown at 26/18.degree. C was greater than that of leaves grown at 34/26 and 18/10.degree. C. Little difference in apparent bloat potential occurred in total forage regardless of cultivar or temperature during growth. 'Ramsey' and 'Saranac' alfalfa were grown at 18/10 and 26/18.degree. C with a 16-h photoperiod. Three soil moisture regimes (R) were imposed at each temperature; soil matrix potentials between -0.1 to -0.5 (R 1), -1.0 to -6.0 (R 2), and -6.0 to -15.0 bars (R 3) were established before the soil was restored to field capacity (2 .times. 3 factorial within each temperature). With a few exceptions, the concentrations of the N fractions in leaves, stems, and total forage of both cultivars generally increased as the soil moisture content decreased from R 1 to R 3 at each temperature. The leaves, stems, and total forage of both cultivars grown at 26/18.degree. C contained greater concentrations of all N fractions than did those of cultivars grown at 18/10 C, which confirmed results of Experiment I. Apparent bloat potential [of ruminants], as estimated by SPN release, of leaves, stems and total forage increased slightly moisture stress at 18/10.degree. C. At 26/18.degree. C, apparent bloat potential only of stems increased with moisture stress. Insofar as moisture stress occurs in practice more often at warm temperatures, it is not likely to influence alfalfa bloat potentially instigated by soluble protein release.

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Accession: 006306450

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Related references

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