Short-term measurements of uptake of nitrogen fixed in the rhizospheres of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) and millet (Pennisetum americanum) uri icon


  • In a series of short-term experiments root systems of young sorghum and millet plants inoculated with N2-fixing bacteria were exposed to 15N2-enriched atmospheres for 72 h. The plants were grown in a normal atmosphere for up to 22 days after the end of the exposure to allow them to take up the fixed N2. Environmental conditions and genotypes of sorghum and millet were selected to maximise N2-fixation in the rhizosphere. Detectable amounts of fixed N (> 16 mgrg/plant) were rapidly incorporated into sorghum plants grown in a sand/farmyard manure medium, but measurable fixation was found on only one occasion in plants grown in soil. N2 fixation was detectable in some experiments with soil-grown millet plants but the amounts were small (2?4 mgrg/plant) and represented less than 1 % of plant N accumulated over the same period. In many cases there was no detectable 15N2 incorporation despite measurable increases in ethylene concentration found during an acetylene reduction assay

publication date

  • 1988