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The role of iron in nodulation and nitrogen fixation in Lupinus angustifolius L

Tang, C., Robson, A.D. and Dilworth, M.J. (1990) The role of iron in nodulation and nitrogen fixation in Lupinus angustifolius L. New Phytologist, 114 (2). pp. 173-182.

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The effects of iron concentration in solution on nodulation and symbiotic N2 fixation in lupins (Lupinus angustifolius L. ev. Yandee) were studied in solution culture in the glasshouse by comparing plants supplied with NH4NO3 with those reliant on N2 fixation. At very low iron supply, adding NH4NO2 did not increase shoot growth. Under moderate iron deficiency, where plants were pale green, adding NH4NO3 increased shoot growth, implying that moderate iron deficiency was, operationally, nitrogen deficiency. Higher iron concentrations in solution were required for maximum growth of plants reliant on symbiotic N2 fixation than for those supplied with NH4NO3 Iron deficiency depressed nodule initiation earlier than host plant growth, resulting in decreased nodule number and mass. Alleviating iron deficiency enhanced leghaemoglobin production in nodules and increased nitrogen concentrations in the shoots. Iron concentration in the youngest fully expanded leaves provided a good indication of the severity of iron deficiency‐caused chlorosis. The results suggest that iron is involved in symbiotic N2 fixation through effects on both nodule initiation and nodule function, and that the symbiosis has a higher iron requirement than that needed for host plant growth.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
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