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Maackia amurensis Rupr. & Maxim. associates with N2-fixing rhizobia, but variation in N2 fixation among genotypes of this species is not known. We determined the effect of N2 fixation on growth of plants from seven half-sib families known to differ in seed mass and seedling growth when provided N. Seedlings were grown in Leonard jars for 12 weeks in a greenhouse. Mass of control plants provided N and nodule mass on plants inoculated with rhizobia (USDA 4349) and not provided N differed among families. Among plants not provided N, inoculation did not increase dry matter but did reduce chlorosis. Therefore, plant N content also will be discussed as an indicator of efficiency of N2 fixation. Results indicate N2 fixation improves plant quality in low-N soils but will not eliminate the need for N applications during seedling production.

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Commercial production of Maackia amurensis Rupr. & Maxim. (Amur maackia) is very limited despite the ornamental and nitrogen (N2)-fixing potential of this tree species. The goal of this on-going project is foster production efforts by selecting genotypes based on growth rate, morphology, stress resistance, and efficiency of N2 fixation. To establish a collection of plants with diverse genetic backgrounds, we requested half-sib lots of seed from arboreta, public gardens, and zoos in 1991. Mean seed mass of the 38 lots that were obtained ranged from 35 to 99 mg. Germination ranged from 67 to 100% and was 78% for the oldest lot, which was harvested at least 66 years ago. Over 2500 seedlings representing the 38 lots were grown in a greenhouse during the 1992 season. The mean epicotyl length and number of compound leaves varied among seedlings in the different lots. Results to date indicate that selecting genotypes based on growth rate and morphological features will be possible.

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