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Improvement of symbiosis between rhizobium meliloti and alfalfa in acid soils from Argentina and Uruguay


Global concern indicates that economical development of a country should be biologically sustainable over the long term. Biological Nitrogen Fixation (BNF), a microbial process which converts atmospheric nitrogen into plant-usable forms, follows this recommendation. However, there are major technical and socio-economical obstacles to fully implement BNF technologies in forage and crop legumes.
The main long term objective of this proposal is addressed to increase the yield of alfalfa crops to satisfy present needs of pastures found in both countries Argentinia and Uruguay.
In Argentinia and Uruguay together, alfalfa cultures cover a total area of more than 4,5 million ha. Economical reasons, edaphological factors, acidity of soils, and a strong impoverishment of soil caused by inappropriate cultivation of fields have all contributed to strongly decrease the total cultured area in the last 50-70 years. This presentation is directed towards the improvement of alfalfa culture conditions in the region where acid soils strongly disturb plant production. In particular : - to select highly competitive Rhizobium meliloti strains under the environmental conditions of Argentinia and Uruguay.
- to improve symbiotic nitrogen fixation by alfalfa in both countries. - to identify the genetic regions of the rhizobia involved in the competitive phenotype that is expressed in the local field situation. - to develop an inoculum, which can be produced by local companies, to improve BNF of alfalfa in acid soils of Argentinia and Uruguay.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Universität Bielefeld
Universitätsstraße 25
33615 Bielefeld

Participants (3)

Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas
1,Profesor Albareda
18071 Granada
Instituto de Investigaciones Biolsgicas Clemente Estable
3318,Av. Italia
11600 Montevideo
Universidad Nacional de La Plata
49 Y 50,Calles 115
1900 La Plata