A non-destructive field assay for soybean nitrogen fixation by acetylene reduction

R. F. Denison, T. R. Sinclair, R. W. Zobel, M. N. Johnson, G. M. Drake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A system for employing open-ended root chambers to measure in situ acetylene reduction rates under field conditions is described. Gas mixtures containing about 2 mbar acetylene were continuously flowed through the chambers providing a continuous record of acetylene reduction. These chambers have been used to measure acetylene reduction rates of soybeans during three growing seasons. The system has proved to be reliable with a high degree of precision. The large amount of plant-to-plant variability observed in N2 fixation research has been confirmed by the data collected with this system. However, such variability in physiological studies can be reduced by using a non-destructive system to compare the response of an individual plant with its rates before treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-182
Number of pages10
JournalPlant and Soil
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1983
Externally publishedYes


  • Acetylene reduction
  • Glycine max L.
  • Nitrogen fixation
  • Soybean


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