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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 21 No. 2, p. 301-306
    Received: June 12, 1980

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Nitrogen Fixation by Corn-Azospirillum Associations in a Temperate Climate

  1. S. L. Albrecht,
  2. Y. Okon,
  3. J. Lonnquist and
  4. R. H. Burris2



The association of maize with the N2-fixing bacteria Azospirillum brasilense was examined under controlled environment and field conditions to evaluate possible benefits for agriculture in temperate regions. Koch's postulates were established by inoculating, reisolating, and reinoculating sterile Zea mays L. plants. Under such artificial conditions, although nitrogenase activity was observed, there was no benefit for the plant. In greenhouse experiments inoculation o| Z. mays with Azospirillum showed slight increases in plant N and dry weight. Four field experiments were carried out with numerous Z. mays lines, and other grass species. In two experiments inoculation with A. brasilense showed increases in plant weight and percent N and the mean difference due to inoculation corresponded to 14 and 15 kg N/ha. Inoculation with Azospirillum produced no consistant beneficial effect, in either yield or increased plant N content. Our data suggest that an increased understanding of plant root-rhizosphere N2-fixing bacterial interactions is required before any consistant, significant beneficial N2-fixing association can be developed.

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