, Volume 198, Issue 2, pp 169-177

Interactions of an acid tolerant strain of phosphate solubilizing bacteria with a few acid tolerant crops

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Abstract

Phosphate solubilizing bacteria (PSB) were isolated from sixty soil samples of various soil classes and cropping histories in Himalayan regions of Uttar Pradesh, India by enrichment culture techniques. Phosphate solubilization and acid tolerance of each strain was estimated. A strain (PAS-2) isolated froma pasture and waste land of pH 4.8, organic matter 2.6% available N 265kg ha-1, available P2O5(Bray's II) 2.3kg ha-1 and available K2O 353 kg ha-1 had the highest P-solubilization (45 µg P per mL per day) and also highest acid tolerance rating 42. The strain was identified as Bacillus sp. Seed inoculation of this bacterial strain resulted in significant increases in grain and vegetative yield of fingermillet (Elosine coracana), maize (Zea mays), amaranth (Amaranthus hypochondriacus), buckwheat (Fagopyrium esculentum), frenchbean (Phaseolus vulgaris) with or without added P sources. The significant grain yield (quintol ha-1) with phosphate and seed inoculation ranged from 33.85 in maize, 26.33 in frenchbean, 22.41 in buckwheat, 20.71 in amaranth and 19.19 in fingermillet as compared to controls. The highest response was observed with frenchbean followed by fingermillet, buckwheat, amaranth and maize. Phosphate use efficiency was highest in frenchbean followed by maize and lowest and almost at par in buckwheat, amaranth and fingermillet. Available phosphate was also highest in frenchbean cultivated plot followed by amaranth, fingermillet, buckwheat and maize. The MPN count of phosphate solubilizing bacteria were also influenced by seed inoculation of strain PAS-2. Frenchbean exerted greaterrhizosphere effect followed by pseudocereals and cereals. Likewise, phosphate nutrition of crops were also improved through seed inoculation irrespective of added P sources. The study thus demonstrated that selection of efficient strain of PSB from acid soil and its seed inoculation in selected crop genotype is beneficial in boosting up crop yield in low productive hill soil. Seed inoculation also created greater rhizosphere effect over uninoculation which improved P-nutrition of crops and also available soil P.