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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

The intercropping common bean with maize improves the rhizobial efficiency, resource use and grain yield under low phosphorus availability

Latati, Mourad; Bargaz, Adnane; Belarbi, Baroudi; Lazali, Mohamed; Benlahrech, Samia; Tellah, Siham; Kaci, Ghiles; Drevon, Jean-Jacques; Ounane, Sidi Mohamed


In order to better understand how mixed crop cultures mitigate stressful conditions, this study aims to highlight the beneficial effect of the intercropping legume-cereal in enhancing soil phosphorus (P) availability for plant growth and productivity in a P-deficient soil of a northern Algerian agroecosystem. To address this question, common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L. cv. El Djadida) and maize (Zea mays L cv. Filou), were grown as sole- and inter-crops in two experimental sites; S1 (P-deficient) and S2 (P-sufficient) during two growing seasons (2011 and 2012). Growth, nodulation and grain yield were assessed and correlated with the rhizosphere soil P availability. Results showed that P availability significantly increased in the rhizosphere of both species, especially in intercropping under the P-deficient soil conditions. This increase was associated with high efficiency in use of the rhizobial symbiosis (high correlation between plant biomass and nodulation), plant growth and resource (nitrogen (N) and P) use efficiency as indicated by higher land equivalent ratio (LER> 1) and N nutrition index (for maize) in intercropping over sole cropping treatments. Moreover, the rhizosphere P availability and nodule biomass were positively correlated (r(2) = 0.71, p < 0.01 and r(2) = 0.62, p < 0.01) in the intercropped common bean grown in the P-deficient soil during 2011 and 2012. The increased P availability presumably improved biomass and grain yield in intercropping, though it mainly enhanced grain yield in intercropped maize. Our findings suggest that modification in the intercropped common bean rhizosphere-induced parameters facilitated P uptake, plant biomass and grain yield for the intercropped maize under P-deficiency conditions. Published by Elsevier B.V.


Algeria, Legumes, Nodulation, Phosphorus, Symbiosis, Intercropping, Rhizosphere

Published in

European Journal of Agronomy
2016, volume: 72, pages: 80-90

Authors' information

Latati, Mourad
École Nationale Supérieure d’Agronomie (ENSA)
Bargaz, Adnane
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Biosystems and Technology
Belarbi, Baroudi
École Nationale Supérieure d’Agronomie (ENSA)
Lazali, Mohamed
University of Khemis Miliana
Benlahrech, Samia
École Nationale Supérieure d’Agronomie (ENSA)
Tellah, Siham
École Nationale Supérieure d’Agronomie (ENSA)
Kaci, Ghiles
École Nationale Supérieure d’Agronomie (ENSA)
Drevon, Jean-Jacques
National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA)
Ounane, Sidi Mohamed
École Nationale Supérieure d’Agronomie (ENSA)

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG2 Zero hunger

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science

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