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J Exp Bot. 2003 Dec;54(393):2757-67. Epub 2003 Oct 29.

Local and systemic effects of phosphorus and nitrogen on nodulation and nodule function in Alnus incana.

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Department of Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden, Crop Science Section, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 4097, S-904 03 UmeƄ, Sweden.


Phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) effects on nodulation, nitrogenase activity and plant growth were studied in the root-hair-infected actinorhizal plant Alnus incana (L.) Moench. A split-root experiment, as well as a short-term experiment with entire root systems and a broader range of P concentrations, showed that P effects were specific on nodulation and not a general stimulation via a plant growth effect. These results indicate that nodule initiation and nodule growth have a high P demand. The split-root assay, comprising seven combinations of two N and two P levels, showed that P could counteract systemic N inhibition of nodulation, but did not counteract N inhibition of nitrogenase activity.

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