Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) plants were inoculated with Sinorhizobium meliloti Tn-5 mutants featuring various nitrogen-fixing effectiveness and then grown in sand culture to study relations between CO2 exchange, plant productivity, and nitrogen fixation. At the flowering stage, the relationship between nitrogen fixation and photosynthesis of whole alfalfa plants was described with the logarithmic curve. At the same stage of plant development, a close relationship was observed between nitrogen fixation rate and plant weight; this relationship showed a trend toward saturation at high rates of nitrogen fixation. The increase in nitrogenase activity of root nodules was accompanied by stimulation of root respiration; the relation of respiration to nitrogen-fixing activity was manifested stronger than its relation to the total root weight. It is concluded that highly effective strains of root nodule bacteria can realize their potential only in combination with complementary plant genotypes featuring active photosynthesis that provides a balanced supply of assimilates for both the symbiotic apparatus and growth processes in the macrosymbiont.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 14, 2007
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