Lotus corniculatus, L. tenuis, L. pedunculatus, and L. subbiflorus inoculated with Mesorhizobium loti NZP2037 strain were grown in a growth chamber. The plants dry weight (DW), the nodule fresh weight (FW), the nitrogenase activity, the nodule glutamine synthetase (GS) and glutamate synthase (GOGAT) activities, as well as the leghemoglobin content and the amino acid in the stem were measured 28 days after inoculation. The highest DW of plants was measured in L. tenuis and the highest FW of nodules was measured in L. pedunculatus. Nitrogenase activity in L. tenuis, L. pedunculatus and L. subbiflorus was six fold the activity in L. corniculatus. Nodule GS and GOGAT activities did not follow this same pattern. L. tenuis had the highest values of GS and GOGAT activities in the nodule, and a high nitrogenase activity which is consistent with its high plant DW. The four species of Lotus were compared and no correlation between nitrogen fixation parameters and ammonia assimilation enzymes was found, but the GS/GOGAT ratio has a positive and significant correlation (r²=0.82**) with the amino acid content in stems.
Nitrogen fixation; nitrogenase; Mesorhizobium loti; leghemoglobin; ammonia assimilation