Special Issue "Rhizobium-legume Symbiosis Effects on Plants"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. John Howieson

Centre for Rhizobium Studies, Murdoch University, Murdoch WA 6150, Australia
Website | E-Mail

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Legumes are a major component of all agrarian systems on Earth. They are particularly attractive to low input systems of agriculture because they take inert nitrogen from the air and transform it into proteins, in a process that leaves no carbon footprint. The bacteria associated with legumes, and which produce the enzymatic mechanisms that reduce atmospheric di-nitrogen (N2) to ammonia, are collectively termed rhizobia or root-nodulating bacteria.

The legume symbiosis with rhizobia has been acknowledged as fundamental to sustainable agriculture because this intimate relationship between soil bacteria and flowering plants can alleviate the need to provide manufactured nitrogen (N) into farming systems. We now understand that our changing climate has resulted substantially from the burning of fossil fuels, such as in the manufacture of Fertiliser N, and thus any anthropomorphic activity (such as legume cultivation) that can limit consumption of fossil fuels must be embraced.

This has brought a renewed focus to the science of biological nitrogen fixation (BNF). Combined with the discovery of new rhizobia such as the burkholderia, our increased understanding of gene function, and the continued domestication of legumes, BNF has re-emerged as an essential knowledge base for all productive agricultural systems.

We invite contributions to this Special Edition, including new research results, reviews and opinion pieces that cover any of these broad aspects of BNF.

Prof. Dr. John Howieson
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Rhizobia and nodule bacteria
  • Legumes
  • nitrogen fixation
  • Agriculture
  • Inoculation
  • agro-ecosystems
  • symbiosis

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle N2 Fixation of Common and Hairy Vetches when Intercropped into Switchgrass
Received: 22 February 2017 / Revised: 5 June 2017 / Accepted: 6 June 2017 / Published: 8 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (229 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Interest in sustainable alternatives to synthetic nitrogen (N) for switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) forage and bioenergy production, such as biological N2 fixation (BNF) via legume-intercropping, continues to increase. The objectives were to: (i) test physical and chemical scarification techniques (10 total) [...] Read more.
Interest in sustainable alternatives to synthetic nitrogen (N) for switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) forage and bioenergy production, such as biological N2 fixation (BNF) via legume-intercropping, continues to increase. The objectives were to: (i) test physical and chemical scarification techniques (10 total) for common vetch (Vicia sativa L.); (ii) assess whether switchgrass yield is increased by BNF under optimum seed dormancy suppression methods; and (iii) determine BNF rates of common and hairy vetch (Vicia villosa L.) via the N-difference method. Results indicate that chemical scarification (sulfuric acid) and mechanical pretreatment (0.7 kg of pressure for one minute) improve common vetch germination by 60% and 50%, respectively, relative to controls. Under optimum scarification methods, BNF was 59.3 and 43.3 kg·N·ha−1 when seeded at 7 kg pure live seed ha−1 for common and hairy vetch, respectively. However, at this seeding rate, switchgrass yields were not affected by BNF (p > 0.05). Based on BNF rates and plant density estimates, seeding rates of 8 and 10 kg pure live seed (PLS) ha−1 for common and hairy vetch, respectively, would be required to obtain plant densities sufficient for BNF at the current recommended rate of 67 kg·N·ha−1 for switchgrass biomass production in the Southeastern U.S. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rhizobium-legume Symbiosis Effects on Plants)
Open AccessArticle Improvement of Faba Bean Yield Using Rhizobium/Agrobacterium Inoculant in Low-Fertility Sandy Soil
Received: 19 August 2016 / Revised: 23 October 2016 / Accepted: 13 December 2016 / Published: 1 January 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (245 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Soil fertility is one of the major limiting factors for crop’s productivity in Egypt and the world in general. Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) has a great importance as a non-polluting and a cost-effective way to improve soil fertility through supplying N to different [...] Read more.
Soil fertility is one of the major limiting factors for crop’s productivity in Egypt and the world in general. Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) has a great importance as a non-polluting and a cost-effective way to improve soil fertility through supplying N to different agricultural systems. Faba bean (Vicia faba L.) is one of the most efficient nitrogen-fixing legumes that can meet all of their N needs through BNF. Therefore, understanding the impact of rhizobial inoculation and contrasting soil rhizobia on nodulation and N2 fixation in faba bean is crucial to optimize the crop yield, particularly under low fertility soil conditions. This study investigated the symbiotic effectiveness of 17 Rhizobium/Agrobacterium strains previously isolated from different Egyptian governorates in improving the nodulation and N2 fixation in faba bean cv. Giza 843 under controlled greenhouse conditions. Five strains that had a high nitrogen-fixing capacity under greenhouse conditions were subsequently tested in field trials as faba bean inoculants at Ismaillia Governorate in northeast Egypt in comparison with the chemical N-fertilization treatment (96 kg N·ha−1). A starter N-dose (48 kg N·ha−1) was applied in combination with different Rhizobium inoculants. The field experiments were established at sites without a background of inoculation under low fertility sandy soil conditions over two successive winter growing seasons, 2012/2013 and 2013/2014. Under greenhouse conditions, inoculated plants produced significantly higher nodules dry weight, plant biomass, and shoot N-uptake than non-inoculated ones. In the first season (2012/2013), inoculation of field-grown faba bean showed significant improvements in seed yield (3.73–4.36 ton·ha−1) and seed N-yield (138–153 Kg N·ha−1), which were higher than the uninoculated control (48 kg N·ha−1) that produced 2.97 Kg·ha−1 and 95 kg N·ha−1, respectively. Similarly, in the second season (2013/2014), inoculation significantly improved seed yield (3.16–4.68 ton·ha−1) and seed N-yield (98–155 Kg N·ha−1) relative to the uninoculated control (48 kg N·ha−1), which recorded 2.58 Kg·ha−1 and 80 kg N·ha−1, respectively. Interestingly, faba bean inoculated with strain Rlv NGB-FR 126 showed significant increments in seed yield (35%–48%) and seed N-yield (34%–49%) compared to the inorganic N fertilizers treatment (96 kg N·ha−1) over the two cropping seasons, respectively. These results indicate that inoculation of faba bean with effective rhizobial strains can reduce the need for inorganic N fertilization to achieve higher crop yield under low fertility soil conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rhizobium-legume Symbiosis Effects on Plants)
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