Plant and Soil

, Volume 122, Issue 2, pp 249–258 | Cite as

Growth and nodulation of tropical food legumes in dilute solution culture

  • R. W. Bell
  • D. G. Edwards
  • C. J. Asher


Twenty-two tropical food legumes were grown in dilute nutrient solution with or without rhizobium inoculation and supplied with either low or adequate amounts of inorganic N. Growth of legumes supplied with adequate inorganic N was generally satisfactory. However, solution phosphorus (P) concentration (15μM) was excessive for black gram, while the initial solution manganese concentration (1.8μM) was excessive for green gram. Growth responses to inoculation with rhizobium at low inorganic N supply were obtained in only 9 of the 22 legumes studied, and shoot dry matter yields were ≤ 51% of those obtained with adequate N supply. Poor growth by inoculated plants with a low N supply was attributed to failure of the inoculated strain of Bradyrhizobium to infect roots (lima bean and Mexican yam bean), to low nodule numbers (green gram, black gram and navy bean), or to excessive uptake of P (black gram, adzuki bean, pigeonpea, winged bean and cowpea cv. Vita 4) and/or manganese (green gram and black gram). High solution temperatures may have limited N fixation by some of the legumes, particularly chickpea.

Key words

manganese toxicity nitrogen fixation phosphorus toxicity rhizobia solution temperature 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. W. Bell
    • 1
  • D. G. Edwards
    • 1
  • C. J. Asher
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AgricultureUniversity of QueenslandSt. Lucia

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