Evaluating rhizobia strains for nitrogen fixation in faba

  • Faba Beans
  • Sustainability
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • Yields

Lead Investigator(s)

Dr. Diane Knight

Lead Investigator(s) Institution

University of Saskatchewan - Dept. of Soil Science


To evaluate faba bean Rhizobia strains from the USDA collection for effective nodulation of selected cultivars. To compare the nitrogen (N) fixation ability of the best selected faba bean strains to three commercial pea/lentil inoculants.


This study screened 42 strains of Rhizobium, originally isolated from faba bean nodules, for their ability to nodulate and fix nitrogen (N) in two varieties of faba bean. All but one of the 42 strains improved nodulation, biomass production and N content in the faba bean varieties to different extents. Inoculating the faba bean seed with the top ten strains of Rhizobium approximately doubled the percentage of N fixation which increased the overall biomass production by an average of 33%. This study demonstrates the large improvements in productivity and biological N fixation that can be achieved by inoculating faba bean at seeding. In addition, the two top performing Rhizobium strains for the FB34-2 variety were identified and are currently being evaluated in field studies.

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SPG Contribution


Project Status


Duration/Timeline of Project (Year to Year)

2013 - 2016


Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture - Agriculture Development Fund

Total Project Cost