Biological Nitrogen Fixation: Importance, Associated Diversity, and Estimates

  • Márcia do Vale Barreto Figueiredo
  • Adália Cavalcanti do Espírito Santo Mergulhão
  • Júlia Kuklinsky Sobral
  • Mario de Andrade Lira Junior
  • Ademir Sergio Ferreira de Araújo


Several processes mediated by soil microorganisms play an important role in nutrient cycling. One such process is biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) by representatives of various bacterial phylogenetic groups, which are called diazotrophs. These bacteria can be free-living, associate with plant species, or even establish symbiosis with legumes. Studies with diazotrophic organisms are of great importance due to their contribution to the nitrogen supply in different ecosystems, including natural and managed systems. It is estimated that global BNF adds 122 Tg of N yearly with cultivated agricultural systems fixing from 33 to 43 Tg, which occurs mostly by legume-rhizobia symbiosis. There is a large potential of BNF contribution by associative systems with tropical grasses, but there is uncertainty in these estimates due to several assumptions in the estimation process and fewer studies with this system when compared to the legume-rhizobia symbiosis. Recent progress in the understanding of diversity, colonization ability, action mechanisms, formulation, and application of these biological systems should facilitate their development as reliable components in the management of sustainable agricultural systems. Several efforts have been made to develop commercial inoculants using these organisms. The current progress in using microorganisms that fix nitrogen in a variety of applications is summarized and discussed herein.


Mycorrhizal Fungus Biological Nitrogen Fixation Microbial Inoculant Repetitive Extragenic Palindromic Spend Mushroom Compost 


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Márcia do Vale Barreto Figueiredo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Adália Cavalcanti do Espírito Santo Mergulhão
    • 3
  • Júlia Kuklinsky Sobral
    • 4
  • Mario de Andrade Lira Junior
    • 2
    • 5
  • Ademir Sergio Ferreira de Araújo
    • 2
    • 6
  1. 1.Vegetal Production DepartmentAgronomical Institute of Pernambuco IPA/SEAGRIRecifeBrazil
  2. 2.National Research and Technological Development*Brazil
  3. 3.Vegetal Production DepartmentAgronomical Institute of Pernambuco IPARecifeBrazil
  4. 4.Agronomy DepartmentFederal Rural University of PernambucoGaranhunsBrazil
  5. 5.Agronomy DepartmentFederal Rural University of Pernambuco, UFRPE/DEPARecifeBrazil
  6. 6.Agronomy DepartmentFederal University of Piaui, UFPITeresinaBrazil

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