Response of the Pigeonpea-Rhizobium symbiosis to salinity stress: variation among Rhizobium strains in symbiotic ability uri icon

abstract

  • There were significant differences among pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp) Rhizobium sp. strains (IC 3506, IC 3484, IC 3195, and IC 3087) in their ability to nodulate and fix N2 under saline conditions. Pigeonpea plants inoculated with IC 3087 and IC 3506 were less affected in growth by salinity levels of 6 and 8 dS m-1 than plants inoculated with the other strains. For IC 3506, IC 3484, and IC 3195, there was a decrease in the number of nodules with increasing salinity, while the average nodule dry weight and the specific nitrogenase activity remained unaffected. However, in IC 3087, the number of nodules increased slightly with increasing salinity. Leaf-P concentrations increased with salinity in the inoculated plants irrespective of the Rhizobium sp. strain, and leaf-N concentrations decreased with increasing salinity in IC 3484 and IC 3195 only. Shoot-Na and-Cl levels were further increased in these salt-sensitive strains only at 8 dS m-1. Therefore there may be scope for selecting pigeonpea Rhizobium sp. symbioses better adapted to saline conditions. The Rhizobium sp. strains best able to form effective symbioses at high salinity levels are not necessarily derived from saline soils

publication date

  • 1990
  • 1990