The influence of the number of nodule bacteria applied to the seed upon nodule formation in legumes

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Thornton, H. G. 1929. The influence of the number of nodule bacteria applied to the seed upon nodule formation in legumes. The Journal of Agricultural Science. 19 (2), pp. 373-381.

AuthorsThornton, H. G.

In a field trial with lucerne grown from seed treated with varying doses of culture it was found that the numbers of nodules were increased as the dose was raised from 2,500 to 20,000 organisms per seed (56 to 7 Ib. of seed per culture). Storing the seed for periods up to 28 days between inoculation and sowing, caused some loss in the nodule numbers. This loss was greatest between 1 and 7 days' storage.

The difference in dose of culture and in period of storage did not significantly affect the crop subsequently obtained from the inoculated plots, whose yield was, however, much above the uninoculated.

In a pot experiment made with runner beans, it was found that increase in the dose of culture above 1,280,000,000 organisms per pot containing six seeds was still capable of increasing nodule numbers but not to an extent proportional to the increase in dose.

The experiment does not exclude the possibility that the restriction in effect of very heavy doses may be due to the soil population becoming saturated with the bacteria. On the other hand, observations on lucerne plants grown aseptically on agar and inoculated with a pure culture, showed that even when excessive numbers of the bacteria immediately surrounded the root hairs, only 4 per cent, of these were infected.

Year of Publication1929
JournalThe Journal of Agricultural Science
Journal citation19 (2), pp. 373-381
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Open accessPublished as non-open access
PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP)

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