General Information: Legumes constitute a group of vegetables within which are found some of the most widespread crops worldwide: those destined for direct consumption such as legumes, those destined to the industry as is the case of Soybean, or those that participate in the food chain as is the case of forage species such as alfalfa. Altogether they present great economic significance since they are one of the food production pillars and proteins of high quality. These vegetables have the peculiarity of being able to obtain most of their nitrogen needs through a process called biological nitrogen fixation (BNF), which allows the use of N2 present in the air.
The fixation of the N2 is carried out by bacteria of the Rhizobium and Bradyrhizobium genera, located inside specific structures called nodules, developed in the roots of the host plant.
This Rhizobium-Legume association is a phenomenon of symbiosis that has been studied and exploited for the efficient production of food. It has expanded throughout modern agriculture considering that Nitrogen is the most limiting and expensive nutrient in agriculture.
Inoculants are therefore used to favor or maximize the efficiency of this process, allowing for a more rapid and effective symbiosis. The quality of the inoculants becomes a major factor in achieving this objective.