Symbiotic N2 fixation response to drought

Serraj, R. and Sinclair, T.R. and Purcell, L.C. (1999) Symbiotic N2 fixation response to drought. Journal of Experimental Botany, 50 (331). pp. 143-155.

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Symbiotic nitrogen fixation is highly sensitive to drought, which results in decreased N accumulation and yield of legume crops. The effects of drought stress on N2 fixation usually have been perceived as a consequence of straightforward physiological responses acting on nitrogenase activity and involving exclusively one of three mechanisms: carbon shortage, oxygen limitation, or feedback regulation by nitrogen accumulation. The sensitivity of the nodule water economy to the volumetric flow rate of the phloem into the nodule offers a common framework to understand each of these mechanisms. As these processes are sensitive to volumetric phloem flow into the nodules, variations in phloem flow as a result of changes in turgor pressure in the leaves are likely to cause rapid changes in nodule activity. This could explain the special sensitivity of N2 fixation to drying soils. It seems likely that N feedback may be especially important in explaining the response mechanism in nodules. A number of studies have indicated that a nitrogenous signal(s), associated with N accumulation in the shoot and nodule, exists in legume plants so that N2 fixation is inhibited early in soil drying. The existence of genetic variation in N2 fixation response to water deficits among legume cultivars opens the possibility for enhancing N2 fixation tolerance to drought through selection and breeding.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Drought stress, legumes, nodule, symbiotic N2 fixation
Author Affiliation: USDA-ARS, Agronomy Physiology Laboratory, IFAS Building 350, University of Florida, USA
Subjects: Plant Protection
Plant Physiology and Biochemistry > Plant Physiology
Divisions: Chickpea
Common Bean
Depositing User: Mr Arbind Seth
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2013 13:03
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2013 13:03
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