Formononetin associated with phosphorus influences soybean symbiosis with mycorrhizal fungi and Bradyrhizobium


  • Paula Rose de Almeida Ribeiro Universidade Federal de Lavras
  • Jessé Valentim dos Santos Universidade Federal de Lavras
  • Teotonio Soares de Carvalho Universidade Federal de Lavras
  • Jacqueline Savana da Silva Universidade Federal de Lavras
  • Pedro Milanez de Resende Universidade Federal de Lavras
  • Fatima Maria de Souza Moreira Universidade Federal de Lavras



Formononetin, Phosphorus fertilization, Isoflavonoid, Mycorrhizal fungi, N2-fixing bacteria


Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi play an important role on nutrient supply to plants, specially P. However, the availability of inoculants for large-scale usage in agriculture is still limited because these organisms are obligatory symbionts. The use of symbiosis stimulants such as flavonoids can be an alternative to improve the beneficial effects of mycorrhiza for plant nutrition. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of the isoflavonoid biostimulant formononetin (7-hydroxy, 4'-methoxy isoflavone) in combination with three levels of phosphorus fertilization on mycorrhizal colonization, nodulation, and productivity of soybean, under field conditions. A 3 x 4 factorial scheme (levels of P: 0, 60 and 120 kg ha-1 P2O5 and doses of formononetin: 0, 25, 50 and 100 g ha-1) was used with five replicates. The following parameters were quantified at full bloom: plant height, shoot dry weight, nodule number, nodule dry weight, mycorrhizal colonization, and shoot N and P concentrations. Productivity was also evaluated at the end of the crop cycle. Formononetin stimulated mycorrhizal colonization at lower levels of P (0 and 60 kg ha-1), with colonization increasing from 56 to 64%. When applied with 60 kg ha-1 P2O5, formononetin increased soybean productivity to values similar to those observed when 120 kg ha-1 de P2O5, was applied. At doses above 50 g ha-1, formononetin applied to the seeds can reduce the need of P fertilization by 50%.


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Author Biography

Paula Rose de Almeida Ribeiro, Universidade Federal de Lavras

Professora na Univeridade Federal de Lavras

Departamento de Ciência do Solo

Área: Microbiologia do Solo




How to Cite

RIBEIRO, P.R. de A., DOS SANTOS, J.V., CARVALHO, T.S. de, SILVA, J.S. da, RESENDE, P.M. de and MOREIRA, F.M. de S.., 2016. Formononetin associated with phosphorus influences soybean symbiosis with mycorrhizal fungi and Bradyrhizobium . Bioscience Journal [online], vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 940–951. [Accessed24 May 2022]. DOI 10.14393/BJ-v32n4a2016-32983. Available from:



Agricultural Sciences