Nitrogen fixation in the phyllosphere of Gramineae

E.P.M. Bessems

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


The investigation was carried out with Zea mays , grown under temperate conditions, and with Tripsacum laxum Nash, grown in the tropics. The conditions for nitrogen fixation were found to be unfavourable in the leachate, obtained by spray irrigation of the aerial plant parts of both experimental plants, but were favourable in the water present between sheath and stem. The ability of the phyllosphere micro-flora to fix nitrogen was proved qualitatively with the acetylene-reduction technique. The amount of nitrogen fixed by the micro-organisms in the phyllosphere of guatemala grass (260-400 g/ha per year) was estimated by exposing entire plants to 15N in situ. The nitrogen-fixing micro-organisms belonged mainly to the Enterobacteriaceae (genus Klebsiella).
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Mulder, E.G., Promotor, External person
Award date9 Feb 1973
Place of PublicationWageningen
Print ISBNs9789022004234
Publication statusPublished - 1973
Externally publishedYes


  • assimilation
  • botany
  • grasses
  • maize
  • nitrogen
  • poaceae
  • zea mays
  • fodder grasses

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