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Nitrogen fixation by a Rhizobium sp. in association with non-leguminous plant cell cultures


THE genus Rhizobium is characterised by its ability to elicit nodule formation and fix dinitrogen in roots of legumes and its species or groups are classified according to their legume host range. There is only one non-legume association reported, that of Trema aspera with a ‘cowpea-type’ strain of Rhizobium1. Dinitrogen fixation by Rhizobium in the absence of a host plant has not yet been demonstrated. I report the production of nitrogenase (C2H2) activity in Rhizobium sp. ‘cowpea strain’ growing in association with callus cultures of non-legumes as well as with cultures of legume species which do not form nodules with the cowpea bacteria.

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CHILD, J. Nitrogen fixation by a Rhizobium sp. in association with non-leguminous plant cell cultures. Nature 253, 350–351 (1975).

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