Nitrogen fixation of pea and chickpea in response to drought in Saskatchewan
Pulse crops are economically important in cropping systems because of their ability to assimilate atmospheric nitrogen (N2). Cost of fertilizer N and an interest in developing ecologically sustainable agricultural systems has lead to an increased interest in the process of N2 fixation. In stress-free environments, legumes fix nitrogen for crop growth and high-protein seed production. However, N2 fixation in legumes is sensitive to water deficit, which restricts N supply, grain yield, and grain quality. The objective of this study was to quantify differences in N2 fixation for chickpea and pea cultivars subject to drought in the field in 2002. Measurements included biomass accumulation and leaf ureide concentration, a potential nitrogen fixation product, throughout the season. At the end of the season, natural abundance of N by fixation and yield were taken. Results will be discussed relating differences in cultivar biomass accumulation and total N fixation to N fixation products.
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