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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Nitrogen Fixation Capabilities of Plant Introduction Accessions of Pasture and Range Forage Legumes1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 75 No. 3, p. 474-479
    Received: June 28, 1982

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  1. J. F. Walsh,
  2. D. F. Bezdicek,
  3. A. M. Davis and
  4. D. L. Hoffman2



Many legume species provide excellent quality forage, although the extent to which non-cultivated species are able to fix N symbiotically is generally unknown. In this report 91 accessions of legumes from the genera Astragalus, Onobrychis, Lupinus, Hedysarum, and Oxytropis were tested for their ability to nodulate and fix N effectively. All accessions were obtained from the USDA Western Regional Plant Introduction Station at Pullman, Wash. Accessions were first screened by evaluating them in small plastic growth tubes. Eighty-two accessions were nodulated by at least one Rhizobium strain and 53% of the accessions tested were judged to be effectively nodulated based on yield. All accessions that were identified as effective were then gown in Leonard jars and inoculated with single strains of rhizobia. Dry matter yield and nitrogen content were determined for all entries. Twenty-seven accessions whicb were tested in Leonard jars were considered to have potential as effective Nrfixing forage legumes based on comparison with N-fertilized controls. The highest yielding entries were several A. cicer L. (cicer milkvetch) accessions and a single accession of H. coronarium L. (sulla). This survey has identified a number of accessions of each genus that may have potential for use in forage legume breeding programs.

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