The Impact of Mineral Nitrogen Fertilization on the Occurrence of Native Diazotrophic Bacteria in Kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea) Shoots and Roots

  •  Lempie Ekandjo    
  •  Silke Ruppel    


Biological Nitrogen Fixation (BNF) is a process of great importance in crop production systems, as it provides additional natural sources of mineral nitrogen. BNF is catalyzed by diazotrophs that are identified by the nif operon presence comprising the nifH gene that encodes for enzyme nitrogenase synthesis. Thoroughly understanding of factors that influence diazotrophic abundance is crucial for their utilization to enhance sustainability and prevent land degradation in modern agriculture. In this study the impacts of nitrogen fertilization on diazotrophic abundance in Brassica oleracea roots and leaves was investigated in greenhouse experiments by real-time qPCR. One way ANOVA was used to compare means and bivariate Pearson correlation tested for relationships between variables. Increased nitrogen fertilization significantly increased the nitrogen content in leaves but not in roots. No significant changes in nifH gene copy numbers nor in proportion of nifH gene copy numbers were detectable. This indicates no effect of mineral N fertilization on the abundance of total native diazotrophic bacterial numbers in Brassica oleracea plants.

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