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Assessment of nitrogen fixation potential in ahipa (Pachyrhizus ahipa) and its effect on root and seed yield

By Dulce N. Rodríguez Navarro, M. Camacho Martínez-Vara del Rey, F.J. Temprano, C. Santamaría and Eduardo O. Leidi


Ahipa is a legume of great interest for the production of raw materials (starch, sugar, oil and proteins) for industrial use. Its yield potential and ability to fix atmospheric N2 in association with rhizobia makes it an attractive option for low input agriculture systems. At present, it is cultivated on a very small scale as a food crop in a few South American countries. Little information is available on symbiotic N2 fixation in ahipa and no work has been performed on strain selection for inoculant production. Soils in southwest Europe are devoid of specific rhizobia able to nodulate on ahipa. Selecting rhizobia for symbiotic effectiveness from a collection led to the isolation of strains which provided greater shoot growth and N content under controlled conditions. In the field, inoculation at sowing with the selected strains increased significantly seed and tuberous root yield and seed protein content. The amount of N2 fixed, estimated by 15N natural abundance, reached 160-260 kg N ha-1. In previous work, ahipa appeared to be a promising alternative crop for the production of industrial raw materials. The results of the present study showed a yield increase in tuberous roots and seeds when applying effective rhizobia inoculants. Furthermore, a positive soil N balance was left after its cultivation making ahipa even more interesting for sustainable farming systems.Peer Reviewe

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.1017/S0014479708007461
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Digital.CSIC
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