, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 279-284

Competitiveness of native Bradyrhizobium japonicum strains in two different soil types

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Interstrain competitiveness is a key factor affecting the performance of rhizobium inoculant. In the present study five native strains of Bradyrhizobium japonicum, namely SSF 4, SSF 5, SSF 6, SSF 7 and SSF 8, were assessed for their competitiveness in nodulating soybean using serological methods. The strains were inoculated individually or with the type strain USDA 110 at a 1:1 ratio. Nodule occupancy determined by immunofluorescence and dot immunoblot assay revealed that under in vitro conditions SSF 8 is more competitive than USDA 110 whereas the others were less competitive. The competitive ability of these strains was also estimated in pot culture in the field. In red soil both SSF 8 and USDA 110 were equally competitive whereas in black soil SSF 8 competed better than USDA 110 and produced more nodules. In a black soil field trial using a randomized block design, USDA 110 or SSF 8, when inoculated alone, occupied the majority of the nodules and enhanced nodule dry weight and shoot biomass. SSF 8 was more competitive when the strains were co-inoculated.

Received: 1 November 1996