Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Sesbania rostrata as a green manure for lowland rice: Growth, N2 fixation,Azorhizobium sp. inoculation, and effects on succeeding crop yields and nitrogen balance

  • 113 Accesses

  • 29 Citations


Root and stem nodulation, nitrogen fixation (acetylene-reducing activity), growth and N accumulation bySesbania rostrata as affected by season and inoculation were studied in a pot experiment. The effects ofS. rostrata as a green manure on succeeding wet-season and dry-season rice yields and total N balance were also studied.S. rostrata grown during the wet season showed better growth, nodulation, and greater acetylene-reducing activity than that grown during the dry season. Inoculation withAzorhizobium caulinodans ORS 571 StrSpc® (resistant to streptomycin and spectinomycin) on the stem alone or on both root and stem significantly increased N2 fixation by the plants. Soil and seed inoculation yielded active root nodules under flooded conditions. Plants that were not inoculated on the stem did not develop stem nodules. The nitrogenase activity of the root nodules was greater than that of the stem nodules in about 50-day-oldS. rostrata.

S. rostrata incorporation, irrespective of inoculation, significantly increased the grain yield and N uptake of the succeeding wet season and dry season rice crops. The inoculated treatments produced a significantly greater N gain (873 mg N pot−1) than the noinoculation (712 mg N pot−1) treatment. About 80% of the N gained was transferred to the succeeding rice crops and about 20% remained in the soil. The soil N in the flooded fallow-rice treatment significantly declined (−140 mg N pot−1) but significantly increased in bothS. rostrata-rice treatments (159 and 151 mg N pot−1 in uninoculated and inoculated treatments respectively). The N-balance data gave extrapolated values of N2 fixed per hectare at about 303 kg N ha−1 per two crops forS. rostrata (uninoculated)-rice and 383 forS. rostrata (inoculated)-rice.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Alazard D, Becker M (1987)Aeschynomene as green manure for rice. Plant and Soil 101:141–143

  2. Barraquio WL, Darcy MLG, Tirol AC, Ladha JK, Watanabe I (1986) Laboratory acetylene reduction assay for relative measurement of N2-fixing activities associated with field-grown wetland rice plants. Plant and Soil 90:359–372

  3. Bouldin DR (1988) The effect of green manure on soil organic matter content and nitrogen availability. In: Green manure in rice farming. Int Rice Res Inst (Los Baños), pp 151–163

  4. Bremner J, Shaw K (1958) Denitrification in soil: I. Methods of investigation. J Agric Sci 51:22–39

  5. Dreyfus BL, Alazard D, Dommergues YR (1984) New and unusual microorganisms and niches. In: Klug MJ, Reddy CA (eds) Current perspectives in microbial ecology. Am Soc Microbiol, Washington, DC, pp 161–169

  6. Dreyfus B, Rinaudo G, Dommergues YR (1985) Observations on the use ofSesbania rostrata as green manure in paddy fields. Mircen J 1:111–121

  7. Dreyfus BL, Garcia JL, Gillis M (1988) Characterization ofAzorhizobium caulinodans gen. nov., sp. nov., a stem-nodulating nitrogen-fixing bacterium isolated fromSesbania rostrata. Int J Syst Bact 38:89–98

  8. Ladha JK, Padre AT, Punzalan GC, Garcia M, Watanabe I (1988a) Effect of inorganic N and organic fertilizers on nitrogen-fixing (acetylene-reducing) activity associated with wetland rice plant. Plant and Soil (in press)

  9. Ladha JK, Watanabe I, Saono S (1988b) Nitrogen fixation by leguminous green manures and practices for its enhancement in tropical lowland rice. In: Green manure in rice farming. Int Rice Res Inst (Los Baños), pp 165–183

  10. Ladha JK, Garcia M, Padre AT, Watanabe I (1989) Survival ofAzorhizobium caulinodans in soil and rhizosphere of wetland rice underSesbania rostrata-rice rotation. Appl Environ Microbiol (in press)

  11. Meelu O, Morris R (1988) Green manure management in rice-based cropping systems. In: Green manure in rice farming. Int Rice Res Inst (Los Baños), pp 209–222

  12. Rinaudo G, Balandreau J, Dommergues Y (1971) Algal and bacterial non-symbiotic nitrogen fixation in paddy soils. Plant and Soil (spec vol), pp 471–479

  13. Rinaudo G, Dreyfus B, Dommergues Y (1983)Sesbania rostrata, a green manure, and the nitrogen content of rice crop and soil. Soil Biol Biochem 15:111–113

  14. Rinaudo G, Alazard D, Moudiongui M (1988) Stem-nodulating legumes as green manure for rice in West Africa. In: Green manure in rice farming. Int Rice Res Int (Los Baños), pp 97–109

  15. Yoshida S, Forno D, Cock J, Gomez K (1972) Analysis for total nitrogen (organic nitrogen) in plant tissues. In: Laboratory manual for physiological studies of rice. Int Rice Res Inst (Los Baños), pp 11–12

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to J. K. Ladha.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ladha, J.K., Miyan, S. & Garcia, M. Sesbania rostrata as a green manure for lowland rice: Growth, N2 fixation,Azorhizobium sp. inoculation, and effects on succeeding crop yields and nitrogen balance. Biol Fert Soils 7, 191–197 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00709647

Download citation

Key words

  • Sesbania rostrata
  • Green manure
  • Stem nodulation
  • N2 fixation
  • Azorhizobium caulinodans
  • Inoculation
  • Rice
  • Yield
  • N balance