Lentil pp 127-143 | Cite as

Rhizobium Management and Nitrogen Fixation



Through fixing their own nitrogen, growing lentils offers a substantial saving in the need to use fossil fuels to generate fixed nitrogen for agricultural production. Much of the nitrogen fixed by the lentil crop may then be available for subsequent crops in the rotation as crop residues break down. Estimates for the contribution of N to soils by lentils are generally in the order of 20 kg N ha−1yr−1. However, the level of N fixed by lentils varies considerably, spatially and temporally in response to a host of environmental and ecological factors. Lentils require effective infection by Rhizobium leguminosarum in order to fix nitrogen. This infection process could fail due to a number of reasons including a lack of or inappropriate strains of rhizobia, failure of the plant to invest in the symbiosis, or through altered metabolism. While conditionsthat suit better growth of the lentil crop will normally enhance the nitrogen fixation of the crop there may also be specific situations in which the fixation process is more sensitive and fixation limits the growth of the crop


Nitrogen Fixation Faba Bean Legume Crop Rhizobium Leguminosarum Lens Culinaris 
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© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Agricultural ScienceUniversity of Tasmania HobartAustralia
  2. 2.The Department of Primary IndustriesGrains Innovation ParkHorshamAustralia

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