Carbon Flow in Plant Microbial Associations

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Science  24 Jul 1981:
Vol. 213, Issue 4506, pp. 473-474
DOI: 10.1126/science.213.4506.473


Measurement of the distribution of the photosynthesis product in the symbiotic association of a legume, a mycorrhizal fungus, and nitrogen-fixing bacteria showed that the fungus incorporated 1 percent of the photosynthesis product and respired 3 percent. The nodules of a 5-week-old plant utilized 7 to 12 percent of the photosynthesis product. The legume compensated in partfor the needs of its microbial partners through increased rates of photosynthesis.