Article scientifique

M. Guinet, B. Nicolardot, C. Revellin, et al.
Comparative effect of inorganic N on plant growth and N2 fixation of ten legume crops: towards a better understanding of the differential response among species
Plant Soil, 2018, 432, 207–227
Aims: A better understanding of how plant growth, N nutrition and symbiotic nitrogen fixation (SNF) are influenced by soil inorganic N availability, for a wide range of legume species, is crucial to optimise legume productivity, N2 fixation, while limiting environmental risks such as N leaching. Methods: A comparative analysis was performed for ten legume crops, grown in a field experiment and supplied with four N fertiliser rates. Dry matter, N concentration and SNF were measured. In parallel, root elongation rates were studied in a greenhouse experiment. Results: For most species, N fertilisation had little effect on plant growth and N accumulation. SNF was reduced by soil inorganic N available at sowing but with large differences in the magnitude of the response among species. The response varied according to plant N requirements for growth and plant ability to retrieve inorganic N. Accordingly, root lateral expansion rate measured in RhizoTubes was highly correlated with plant ability to retrieve inorganic N measured in the field experiment. Conclusion: Combining SNF response to soil inorganic N, shoot N and plant ability to retrieve inorganic N, allowed a robust evaluation of differential response to soil inorganic N among a wide range of legume species.
Keywords: grain legumes, plant growth, nitrogen nutrition, symbiotic N2 fixation, nitrogen use efficiency, root soil exploration

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