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Nodulation response to molybdenum supplementation in alfalfa and its correlation with root and shoot growth in low pH soil
- Adhikari, Laxman, Missaoui, Ali M.
- Journal of plant nutrition 2017 v.40 no.16 pp. 2290-2302
- alfalfa, cultivars, foliar application, genotype, greenhouses, lithium, molybdenum, nitrogen, nitrogen fixation, nodulation, pH, phytomass, roots, shoots, soil
- Molybdenum (Mo) is a critical micronutrient for nitrogen (N) fixation in legumes. Low pH limits the availability of Mo, thereby reducing nodulation and N fixation. This study investigates the effect of Mo supplementation on alfalfa nodulation and its correlation with root and shoot biomass in low-pH soil. Three experiments were conducted in the greenhouse, involving 14 genotypes of alfalfa subjected to four different treatments, unlimed low-pH soil (5.2) with Mo applied (lithium (Li) ⁻Mo ⁺), low-pH soil (5.2) without Mo (Li ⁻Mo ⁻), limed soil (pH 7.3) with Mo applied (Li ⁺Mo ⁺), and limed soil (pH 7.3) without Mo (Li ⁺Mo ⁻). Foliar application of Mo resulted in a significant increase in nodule counts in the 14 alfalfa cultivars grown in low-pH soil (5.2) even though to a lesser extent than in limed soil with neutral pH (7.3). The increase in number of nodules correlated positively with plant root weight and upper plant biomass.