Phosphorus deficiency is a very common problem in the acid soil of central China. Previous research has shown that starter N and N topdressing at the flowering stage (RI) increased soybean (Glycine max) yield and N2 fixation (Gan et al., 1997, 2000). However, there is little information available concerning soybean response to P-fertiliser in soybean production in central China (Gan, 1999). A field experiment was conducted to investigate the response to P (0 kg P ha-1, 22 kg P ha-1, 44 kg P ha-1 before sowing) and N fertiliser application (N1: 0 kg N ha-1 N2: 25 kg N ha-1 before sowing, N3: N2 50 kg N ha-1 at the V2 stage and N4: N2 50 kg N ha-1 at the R1 stage) on growth, yield and N2 fixation of soybean. Both N and P fertiliser increased growth and seed yield of soybean (P < 0.01). Application of basal P fertiliser at 22 kg P ha-1 or 44 kg P ha-1 increased total N accumulation by 11% and 10% (P < 0.01) and seed yield by 12% and 13% (P < 0.01), respectively, compared to the zero P treatment. Although application of starter N at 25 kg N ha-1 had no positive effect on seed yield at any P level (P > 0.05), an application of a topdressing of 50 kg N ha-1 at the V2 or R1 stage increased total N accumulation by 11% and 14% (P < 0.01) and seed yield by 16% and 21% (P < 0.01), respectively, compared to the zero N treatment. Soybean plants were grown on sterilised Perlite in the greenhouse experiment to study the physiological response to different concentrations of phosphate (P1: 0 mM; P2:0.05 mM; P3: 0.5 mM; P4:1.0 mN) and nitrate (N1: 0 mM with inoculation, N2:20 mM with inoculation). The result confirmed that N and P nutrients both had positive effects on growth, nodulation and yield (P < 0.01). The relative importance of growth parameters that contributed to the larger biomass with N and P fertilisation was in decreasing order: (i) total leaf area, (ii) individual leaf area, (iii) shoot/root ratio, (iv) leaf area ratio and (v) specific leaf area. The yield increase at N and P supply was mainly associated with more seeds and a larger pod number per plant, which confirmed the result from the field experiment.
|Journal||Annals of Applied Biology|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|