ABSTRACTLodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) trees have been thriving on unreclaimed gravel mining sites in British Columbia, Canada, with tissue nitrogen-content and growth-rate unaffected by extremely low soil nitrogen-levels. This indicates that pine trees could be accessing a hidden nitrogen source to fulfill their nitrogen requirements – possibly via endophytic nitrogen-fixation. Endophytic bacteria originally isolated from native pine trees growing at gravel sites were selected (n = 14) for in vitro nitrogen-fixation assays and a year long greenhouse study to test the overall hypothesis that naturally occurring endophytic nitrogen-fixing bacteria sustain pine tree growth under nitrogen-limited conditions. Each of the 14 bacteria colonized the internal tissues of pine trees in the greenhouse study and fixed significant amounts of nitrogen from atmosphere (23%–53%) after one year as estimated through 15N isotope dilution assay. Bacterial inoculation also significantly enhanced the length (31%–64%) and biomass (100%–311%) of pine seedlings as compared to the non-inoculated control treatment. In addition, presence of the nifH gene was confirmed in all 14 bacteria. Our results support the possibility that pine trees associate with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, capable of endophytic colonization, to survive at unreclaimed gravel mining pits and this association could potentially be utilized for effective reclamation of highly disturbed sites in a sustainable manner.
Hidden Source Endophytic Nitrogen Fixation Sites In British Columbia Pine Trees Nitrogen Requirements Pinus Contorta Var Gravel Sites Nitrogen-limited Conditions Endophytic Bacteria Bacterial Inoculation
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Climate change Research Articles published between Nov 21, 2022 to Nov 27, 2022
Nov 28, 2022
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No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. The conception and design of the study, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretatio...Read More
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