Terrestrial environment

Enhanced adaptability of Sesbania rostrata to Pb/Zn tailings viastem nodulation

JIAN Shuguang , SHEN Weijun , YANG Zhongyi


Received September 28, 2008,Revised December 29, 2008, Accepted , Available online

Volume 21,2009,Pages 1135-1141

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Sesbania rostrata is wellknown for its stem nodulation, but the roles of stem nodulation in root nodulation and adaptation of S. rostrata to Pb/Zn-enriched tailings environment has been poorly understood. We investigated the e ects of inoculating (with stem nodule treatment) and non-inoculating (without stem nodule treatment) Azorhizobium caulinodans on the growth, root nodulation, and N fixation of S. rostrata grown on three di erent types of soil substrata: Pb/Zn tailings, garden soil amended tailings, and garden soil. The results showed that plant height, stem basal diameter, biomass, chlorophyll content, nitrogen content and N-accumulation per plant were 2.3%–4.9%, 2.2%–7.7%, 27.8%–72.2%, 17.1%–23.5%, 12.3%–34.2%, and 43.1%–131.2%, respectively, higher in treatments with stem nodule than those without stem nodule for the same soil substrate. With respect to soil substrata, all measurements had consistently higher values in tailings than in amended tailings and garden soil, indicating that the poorer the soil condition, the greater the contribution of stem nodule. In contrast, the number and fresh weight of root nodules on plants without stem nodule were 6.9–11.6 times and 5.8–29.0 times higher than those with stem nodule, respectively, especially with respect to the plants grew on Pb/Zn tailings. In general, stem nodulation favored plant growth and nitrogen fixation of S. rostrata, but suppressed root nodulation. With the ability of stem and root nodulation, S. rostrata can be used as a pioneer plant species for remediation of Pb/Zn tailings.

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