Elevated CO2 induces differences in nodulation of soybean depending on bradyrhizobial strain and method of inoculation.

Prévost, D., Bertrand, A., Juge, C., and Chalifour, F.-P. (2009). "Elevated CO2 induces differences in nodulation of soybean depending on bradyrhizobial strain and method of inoculation.", Plant and Soil, 331(1), pp. 115-127. doi : 10.1007/s11104-009-0238-0  Access to full text


High CO2 has been shown to increase plant growth and to affect symbiotic activity in many legumes species, including soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merr.). In order to assess the interaction between elevated CO2 and rhizobial symbionts on soybean growth and nodulation, we combined the effects of CO2 with those of different bradyrhizobial strains and methods of inoculation. Soybean seeds were sown in agricultural soil in pots and inoculated with three strains of Bradyrhizobium japonicum (5Sc2 and 12NS14 indigenous to Québec soils, and 532c, a reference strain), the inoculum being either applied directly to the seed or incorporated into the soil. Plants were grown in growth chambers (22/17°) for 6 weeks, under either near ambient (400 μmol mol-1) or elevated (800 μmol mol-1) concentrations of CO2. Elevated CO2 increased mass (63%) and number (50%) of soybean nodules, particularly medium and large, allowed a deeper nodule development, and increased shoot dry weight (+30%), shoot C uptake (+33%) and shoot N uptake (+78%), compared to ambient CO2. The two indigenous strains induced more medium and large nodules under elevated CO2 than the reference strain and showed the greatest increases in shoot dry weight. Soil inoculation induced higher number of small nodules than seed inoculation, specifically for the two indigenous strains, but did not affect plant growth parameters. We conclude that soybean yield enhancements due to elevated CO2 are associated with the production of large and medium-size nodules and a deep nodulation, that the two indigenous strains better respond to elevated CO2 than the reference strain, and that the method of inoculation has little influence on this response.

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