Hydrogenase in Rhizobium japonicum Increases Nitrogen Fixation by Nodulated Soybeans

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Science  23 Mar 1979:
Vol. 203, Issue 4386, pp. 1255-1257
DOI: 10.1126/science.203.4386.1255


Some Rhizobium strains synthesize a unidirectional hydrogenase system in legume nodule bacteroids; this system participates in the recycling of hydrogen that otherwise would be lost as a by-product of the nitrogen fixation process. Soybeans inoculated with Rhizobium japonicum strains that synthesized the hydrogenase system fixed significantly more nitrogen and produced greater yields than plants inoculated with strains lacking hydrogen-uptake capacity. Rhizobium strains used as inocula for legumes should have the capability to synthesize the hydrogenase system as one of their desirable characteristics.