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

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Summary

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.

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Correspondence to J. K. Ladha.

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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

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Key words

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