Nodular diagnosis for ecological engineering of the symbiotic nitrogen fixation with legumes

Drevon, J. J. and Alkama, N. and Araujo, A. and Beebe, S. and Blair, M. W. and Hamza, H. and Jaillard, B. and Martinez-Romero, E. and Rodino, P. and Tajini, F and Zaman-Allah, M (2011) Nodular diagnosis for ecological engineering of the symbiotic nitrogen fixation with legumes. Procedia Environmental Sciences, 9. pp. 40-46. ISSN 1878-0296

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As a major contributor to the reduced nitrogen pool in the biosphere, symbiotic nitrogen fixation by legumes plays a critical role in a sustainable production system. However this legume contribution varies with the physico-chemical and biological conditions of the nodulated-root rhizosphere. In order to assess the abiotic and biotic constrains that might limit this symbiosis at the agroecosystem level, a nodular diagnosis is proposed with common bean as a model grain-legume, and a major source of plant proteins for world human nutrition. The engineering of the legume symbiosis is addressed by participatory assessment of bean recombinant inbred lines contrasting for their efficiency in use of phosphorous for symbiotic nitrogen fixation. With this methodology, in field-sites chosen with farmers of an area of cereal-cropping in the Mediterranean basin, a large spatial and temporal variation in the legume nodulation was found. Soil P availability was a major limiting factor of the rhizobial symbiosis. In order to relate the field measurements with progress in functional genomics of the symbiosis, in situ RT-PCR on nodule sections has been implemented showing that the phytase gene is expressed in the cortex with significantly higher number of transcripts in P-efficient RILs. It is concluded that various tools and indicators are available for developing the ecological engineering of the rhizobial symbiosis, in particular for its beneficial contribution to the bio-geochemical cycle of N, and also P and C.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: beneficial-organisms interactions; cultivation methods & plant adaptations; crop husbandry; crop improvements for yield; resistance & quality; ecosystem functioning; food security; integrated nutrients; networking; participation & conservation in resource management; rhizosphere management
Subjects: Others > Food Legumes
Others > Agriculture-Farming, Production, Technology, Economics
Others > Fertilizer Applications
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2011 12:04
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2011 12:04
Official URL:
Funders: Agropolis Platform of Advanced Research , EU Aquarhiz project and Averroes program
Acknowledgement: This research was supported by the grain legume integrated project of the EU Quality of life program, and by the Aquarhiz project of the EU INCOMED program. Aline Lopez, Mainassara Zaman-Allah and Nora Alkama received a fellowship from the Agropolis Platform of Advanced Research and EU Aquarhiz project and Averroes program, respectively
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