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Improvement of Rhizobium Inoculants

By Alan S. Paau


A practical approach was used to develop a Rhizobium (Bradyrhizobium) japonicum inoculant that increases soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) yield in fields with indigenous Rhizobium populations, which typically outcompete strains present in existing commercial inoculants and therefore decrease the value of inoculant use. Field tests managed by several universities in the Mississippi delta region averaged a 169-kg/ha (P < 0.01) grain yield increase. The inoculant contains a mixture of mutants selected for increased nitrogen fixation ability. These mutants were derived from indigenous wild-type strains that are capable of high-level occupancy of nodules in soybean fields in the Mississippi delta region. To ensure microbiological purity, the inoculant is fermented directly in the point-of-use container with a vermiculite carrier (L. Graham-Weiss, M. L. Bennett, and A. S. Paau, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 53:2138-2140, 1987). It should be possible to use this approach to produce more effective Rhizobium inoculants for any legume in any geographical area

Topics: Microorganism-Plant Interactions
Year: 1989
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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