Breeding for enhanced nitrogen fixation in crop legumes

Herridge, D. and Rose, I. (2000) Breeding for enhanced nitrogen fixation in crop legumes. Field Crops Research, 65 (2/3). pp. 229-248.

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Legume dinitrogen (N2) fixation is a variable, but nonetheless valuable process in world agriculture, contributing almost 20% of the nitrogen (N) needed for world grain and oilseed production. For all crop legumes, there is great potential to increase the percentage of legume N derived from N2 fixation as well to enhance the total N2 fixed through improved management and genetic modification of the plant. Strategies and operational frameworks for conducting selection and breeding programmes to enhance N2 fixation, and methods for measuring N2 fixation that have been used in such programmes, are reviewed. Results from research programmes to define genetic variation in N2 fixation of soyabean (Glycine max) and to enhance N2 fixation through breeding are presented, with emphasis on symbiotic tolerance to nitrate, mutagenesis-induced supernodulation and promiscuous and selective nodulation. Whilst genetically based variation in N2 fixation traits has now been demonstrated for soyabean and other legume species, incorporating such variation into cultivars has had little success. Future programmes may benefit from increased integration into mainstream legume breeding programmes that are focused on a broad range of traits, and in which all material is evaluated in low N soils to provide the most appropriate selection pressure for highly effective nodulation and N2 fixation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Selection, Breeding, Legume, Soybean, Symbiosis, N2 Fixation, Nodulation
Author Affiliation: New South Wales Agriculture, Tamworth Centre for Crop Improvement, Australia.
Subjects: Plant Protection
Crop Improvement
Divisions: Chickpea
Common Bean
Depositing User: Mr Arbind Seth
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2013 03:01
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2013 03:01
Official URL:

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