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Revista Chapingo. Serie horticultura

versão On-line ISSN 2007-4034versão impressa ISSN 1027-152X


CAMARILLO-CASTILLO, Fátima  e  MANGAN, Francis X.. Biological nitrogen fixation in chipilin (Crotalaria longirostrata Hook. & Arn.), a sustainable nitrogen source for commercial production. Rev. Chapingo Ser.Hortic [online]. 2020, vol.26, n.2, pp.125-141.  Epub 15-Maio-2020. ISSN 2007-4034.

The increasing demand for fresh produce traditionally consumed by members of the Latino community in their countries of origin provides an opportunity to produce these specialty crops in the Northeastern region of the United States. In Massachusetts, more commercial farmers are interested in growing vegetables common in Latin America. One example is chipilín (Crotalaria longirostrata Hook. & Arn.), a leguminous leafy green native to South and Central America. Preliminary studies indicate that this crop requires nitrogen (N) applications as high as 200 kg·ha-1 to achieve the quality standards required to market this vegetable. The objective of this study was to evaluate the capacity of specific Rhizobia strains to colonize chipilín roots and estimate the N supplied by the bacterial colonization and its impact on quality traits and economic yield. The effects of N supplied by biological fixation in plants inoculated with different Rhizobia species were evaluated. Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar colonized chipilín and enhanced the total fresh weight of the crop by 158 kg·ha-1. Supplementary applications of inorganic N had little effect on the efficiency of colonization by the bacterial strains. Furthermore, applying more than 80 kg·ha-1 of N increased only the green color of the leaves and was economically inefficient in increasing the total fresh weight of the crop. Thus, inoculations with Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar can be integrated into a sustainable production system for complementing or replacing chemical fertilizers and preventing deleterious effects on the environment.

Palavras-chave : legumes; crop sustainability; chemically fixed fertilizers; leaching; Rhizobia.

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