Short-term survival of rhizobia on arrowleaf clover seed sown at different depths
Seed of arrowleaf clover (Trifolium vesiculosum Savi) were inoculated with a streptomycin resistant mutant ofRhizobium leguminosarum biovartrifolii and planted on the surface of a Norwood fine sandy loam and at 10 and 25 mm depths. Populations of rhizobia declined from an excess of 10,000 seed−1 immediately after inoculation to less than 100 within three to four days after sowing on the soil surface when water was the peat inoculant adhesive. Gum arabic as the adhesive promoted the survival of rhizobia. Populations of rhizobia on surface sown seed declined much more rapidly than on seed buried in soil. Although, the soil was nearly air dry, rhizobia on buried seed survived at populations exceeding 1,000 seed−1. The maximum soil temperatures ranged between 21 and 36°C over the sampling time and did not seem to have a major influence on short term survival of rhizobia. Delayed germination of seed due to the higher temperature would indirectly influence the number of viable rhizobia present at germination.
Key wordsarrowleaf clover desiccation inoculation rhizobia Rhizobium leguminosarum stickers survival temperature
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