Effects of Drought Stress on Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation in Peanut


Auburn University

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Southeast (GA, FL, AL)

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Peanut plants form symbiotic relationships with rhizobia, resulting in the fixation atmospheric nitrogen, thus reducing or eliminating the need for nitrogen fertilization. Symbiotic nitrogen fixation is affected by the rhizobial strain involved, the genotype of the host plant, and environmental conditions. Different nitrogen fixation capabilities have been observed in different peanut cultivars. Symbiotic nitrogen fixation is known to be sensitive to soil drying, which tends to occur in sandy soils where peanut is commonly grown. In this three-year project, we will determine the effects of drought stress on nitrogen fixation in various peanut cultivars. Maximizing symbiotic nitrogen fixation during the development of high-yielding peanut cultivars is critical for obtaining high yields without the application of expensive nitrogen fertilizers in peanut production. The objective for Year 1 of the proposed three-year project was to determine the optimal growth stage for measuring nitrogen-fixing activity in peanut. 

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