Commercial rhizobial inoculants significantly enhance growth and nitrogen fixation of a promiscuous soybean variety in Kenyan soils uri icon

abstract

  • Low effectiveness of native strains remains a limitation to soybean productivity in sub-Saharan Africa; while in other countries commercial inoculants are produced that provide effective strains that stimulate N fixation and growth. An experiment was set up to evaluate the response of a dual purpose promiscuous soybean variety (TGx1740-2F) and a non-promiscuous variety (Nyala) to commercial rhizobium inoculants in soils from central and coastal Kenya. Highest nodulation was observed in some of the treatments with commercial inoculants applied with nodule weights of 4.5 and 1.0 g plant(-1) for TGx1740-2F and Nyala, respectively. Average biomass yields of TGx1740-2F (16 g plant(-1)) were twice as large as of Nyala (7.5 g plant(-1)) at the podding stage. Nitrogen fixation was higher in TGx1740-2F than in Nyala, and positively affected by a number of commercial inoculants with more than 50% N derived from the atmosphere. Nodule occupancy was 100% on both soybean varieties, indicating that the commercial strains were extremely infective in both of the tested soils. These results showed that commercial strains can be used to inoculate promiscuous soybean and enhance N fixation and yield.

publication date

  • 2012
  • 2012