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Growth, nodulation and yield response of soybean to biofertilizers and organic manures

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A field experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of a symbiotic nitrogen fixing bacterium Bradyrhizobium japonicum strain TAL-102 and a commercial biofertlizer EM (effective microorganisms) on growth, nodulation and yield of soybean [Glycine max (L.) Wilczek] in soils amended either with farmyard manure or Trifolium alexandrinum L. green manure @ 20 tons ha -1 each. In green manure amendment, B. japonicum inoculation significantly enhanced number and biomass of nodules resulting in a significant increase of 27, 65 and 55% in shoot biomass and number and biomass of pods, respectively. In farmyard manure amended soil, B. japonicum inoculation significantly enhanced fresh biomass of nodules. As a result a significant increase of 45 and 47% in shoot biomass and number of pods was recorded, respectively. Generally, the effect of sole EM application on various studied parameters was insignificant in both the soil amendment systems. Combined application of EM and B. japonicum in green manure amended soil reduced shoot growth and number of pods as compared to sole B. japonicum inoculation. Conversely, in farmyard manure amendment, plants co-inoculated with B. japonicum and EM exhibited highest and significantly greater shoot biomass, and number and biomass of pods as compared to all other treatments. The present study concludes that soybean yield can be significantly enhanced by the application of B. japonicum and EM in farmyard manure amendment.
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P. J. Bot., 42(2): 863-871, 2010.
GROWTH, NODULATION AND YIELD RESPONSE
OF SOYBEAN TO BIOFERTILIZERS AND
ORGANIC MANURES
ARSHAD JAVAID* AND NASIR MAHMOOD
Institute of Mycology and Plant Pathology,
University of the Punjab, Quaid-e-Azam Campus Lahore, Pakistan
*E-mail: arshadjpk@yahoo.com
Abstract
A field experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of a symbiotic nitrogen fixing
bacterium Bradyrhizobium japonicum strain TAL-102 and a commercial biofertlizer EM (effective
microorganisms) on growth, nodulation and yield of soybean [Glycine max (L.) Wilczek] in soils
amended either with farmyard manure or Trifolium alexandrinum L. green manure @ 20 tons ha-1
each. In green manure amendment, B. japonicum inoculation significantly enhanced number and
biomass of nodules resulting in a significant increase of 27, 65 and 55% in shoot biomass and
number and biomass of pods, respectively. In farmyard manure amended soil, B. japonicum
inoculation significantly enhanced fresh biomass of nodules. As a result a significant increase of 45
and 47% in shoot biomass and number of pods was recorded, respectively. Generally, the effect of
sole EM application on various studied parameters was insignificant in both the soil amendment
systems. Combined application of EM and B. japonicum in green manure amended soil reduced
shoot growth and number of pods as compared to sole B. japonicum inoculation. Conversely, in
farmyard manure amendment, plants co-inoculated with B. japonicum and EM exhibited highest
and significantly greater shoot biomass, and number and biomass of pods as compared to all other
treatments. The present study concludes that soybean yield can be significantly enhanced by the
application of B. japonicum and EM in farmyard manure amendment.
Introduction
Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Wilczek] is a globally important oilseed crop and source
of high quality protein for human consumption, used as fodder for animal and is also
important in improved crop rotation systems (Manyong et al., 1996; Carsky et al., 1997).
When in symbiotic association with Bradyrhizobium japonicum, soybean plants can fix
up to 200 kg N ha1 yr1 (Smith & Hume, 1987), reducing the need for expensive and
environmentally damaging nitrogen fertilizer. Nodulation of soybean requires specific
Bradyrhizobium species (Abaidoo et al., 2007). In soils where the soybean crop has not
been grown previously, compatible populations of bradyrhizobia are seldom available
(Abaidoo et al., 2006). The nitrogen demand of soybean can be supplied via biological
nitrogen fixation through the inoculation with selected Bradyrhizobium japonicum/B.
elkanii strains. Biological nitrogen fixation can reduced the need for N fertilizers,
resulting in an economy estimated in US$ 3 billion per crop season (Nicolás et al., 2006).
The symbiosis between soybean and bradyrhizobia results from a complex process
involving many genes of both partners that leads to the formation of N2-fixing nodules in
roots (Provorov & Vorob’ev, 2000).
EM (Effective Microorganisms) Technology of nature farming was introduced by
Japanese scientists in late 1980s (Higa, 1989). EM culture consists of co-existing beneficial
microorganisms, the main being the species of photosynthetic bacteria viz.,
Rhodopseudomonas plastris and Rhodobacter sphacrodes; lactobacilli viz., Lactobacillus
plantarum, L. casei and Streptococcus lactis; yeasts (Saccharomyces spp), and
actinomycetes (Strptomyces spp.). These microorganisms improve crop growth and yield
ARSHAD JAVAID & NASIR MAHMOOD
864
by increasing photosynthesis, producing bioactive substances such as hormones and
enzymes, controlling soil diseases and accelerating decomposition of lignin materials in the
soil (Higa, 2000; Hussain et al., 2002). Application of EM is known to enhance crop
growth and yield in many crops both leguminous and non-leguminous (Sheng & Lian,
2002; Javaid, 2006, 2009; Khaliq et al., 2006; Daiss et al., 2008). In Pakistan, this
technology of nature farming was introduced in 1990 by the Nature Farming Research
Centre, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad. Numerous field and green house trials are
indicative of the benefits of this technology for crop production, as a probiotic in poultry
and livestock rations, and to enhance the composting and recycling of municipal/industrial
wastes and effluents (Hussain et al., 1999). At present Nature Farming Research and
Development Foundation is disseminating this technology throughout the country. Three
commercial products viz. EM Bioaab, EM Biovet and EM Biocontrol have been introduced
to the farmers by this organization. EM Bioab is used in agricultural crops along with
organic manures as a substitute of chemical fertilizers. EM Biovet is used in livestock and
poultry production while EM Biocontrol is used in crops, vegetables and orchards for
prevention and remedy of diseases and insect pest attack (Hussain et al., 2002).
Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Wilczek] is a comparatively new leguminous oil-seed
crop for the plains of Pakistan. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of
Bradyrhizobium japonicum st. TAL-102 inoculation and EM application on plant growth,
nodulation and yield of soybean in soils amended with farmyard and green manures.
Materials and Methods
Soil and environmental characteristics: A field experiment was conducted in Botanical
Garden, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan during August-October 2004. The soil of
experimental area was loamy textured having organic matter 0.9%, pH 8.2, nitrogen 0.05%,
available phosphorus 14 mg kg-1 and available potassium 210 mg kg-1 of soil. The city of
Lahore is located on latitude 31.57 N and longitude 74.31 E. The average rainfall during
August, September and October in the area was 13.25, 6.25 and 1.0 mm, mean maximum
temperature 92, 92 and 88 ˚F and mean minimum temperature 82, 79 and 69 ˚F, respectively.
The day duration during August, September and October ranged from 12 h 52 min., to 13 h 41
min., 11 h 54 min., to 12 h 51 min., and 10 h 57 min., to 11 h 52 min., respectively. The
weather was mostly clear with bright sunshine during the experimental period.
Soil amendments: Fresh farmyard manure @ 20 t ha-1 was thoroughly mixed in the field
plots. Similarly Trifolium alexandrinum green manure, grown in the respective plots
during December 2003, was thoroughly mixed in the soil @ 20 t ha-1 during February
2004 (Hussain et al., 1998). The plots were irrigated with tap water. Plots were left for 30
days to decompose the manures and irrigated whenever required to maintain the soil
moisture. In March 2004, mungbean [Vigna radiata (L.) Wilczek] was sown in these
plots. After harvesting of mungbean, soybean was planted in the same fields in August
2004 for the present study.
EM application: Effective microorganisms’ cultures under the commercial name of EM
Bioaab were obtained from Nature Farming Research and Development Foundation
Faisalabad, Pakistan. The stock culture was diluted to prepare 0.2% solution by adding
tap water. The fresh solution was used immediately after preparation. The respective EM
treated plots received dilute EM solution @ 2 L m-2 throughout the experimental period
at fortnight intervals.
Bradyrhizobium japonicum inoculation: Seeds of soybean with uniform shape, size and
weight were surface sterilized with 1% sodium hypochlorite solution for 10 minuets
RESPONSE OF SOYBEAN TO BIOFERTILIZERS AND ORGANIC MANURES 865
followed by several washings with sterilized water. These surface sterilized seeds were
pelted with peat based single strain inoculum of B. japonicum st. TAL-102 with
concentrated sugar solution as an adhesive. Six seeds of soybean were sown in each row
with 18 cm interplant spacing.
Experimental design and treatments: A combination of organic manures, EM and B.
japonicum was arranged in a split-split plot design with organic manures as main plots,
EM application as subplots and B. japonicum as sub-subplots. Each sub-subplot
measured 1.5×1 m2. There were four treatments for each of the two soil amendment
systems. These were i). control, ii). EM application, iii). B. japonicum inoculation and
iv). EM + B. japonicum. Each treatment was replicated thrice.
Harvesting schedule: Six replicate plants of each treatment were uprooted from the
centre of the plots at maturity. Nodules were separated from roots and counted. The roots,
shoots, nodules and pods were dried in oven at 70 °C to constant weight and weighed.
Data were averaged on per plant bases.
Statistical analysis: Data regarding various root and shoot growth, nodulation and yield
parameters were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) followed by Duncan’s
Multiple Range Test to delineate mean differences (Steel & Torrie, 1980).
Results and Discussion
Effect of soil amendments: Effect of soil amendments was significant for shoot length,
number and biomass of nodules, and pod number. The values of these parameters were
generally higher in farmyard manure than in green manure amendment. Soil amendments
exhibited an insignificant effect on root, shoot and pod biomass (Table 1, Figs. 1-3).
Earlier Javaid et al., (2008) reported better growth and yield of wheat in farmyard manure
than in green manure amended soil. It could be attributed to different mineralization rates
and nutrient availability in the two soil amendment systems at different growth stages of
the plant (Kautz et al., 2006).
Effect B. japonicum inoculation: Analysis of variance indicated significant effect of B.
japonicum inoculation on all the studied parameters of plant growth, nodulation and yield
(Table 1). In green manure amendment, B. japonicum inoculation significantly enhanced
number, and fresh and dry biomass of nodules by 25, 35 and 20%, respectively.
Consequently, a significant increase of 27, 65 and 55% was observed in shoot biomass,
and number and biomass of pods, respectively. In contrast, the effect of B. japonicum
inoculation on root biomass was insignificant in this soil amendment system (Figs. 1-3).
In farmyard manure, B. japonicum inoculation failed to increase the number of nodules.
However, generally nodules size in inoculated treatment was greater than in control.
Consequently, an increase of 42 and 19% in fresh and dry biomass of nodules,
respectively, was recorded in inoculated plants. As a result, a significantly greater shoot
length, shoot biomass, root biomass, and number of pods were recorded in inoculated
plants as compared to uninoculated control. B. japonicum inoculation failed to enhance
pod biomass significantly in this soil amendment system. Increase in plant growth,
nodulation and yield of soybean by B. japonicum strains have also been reported in other
countries like Canada (Mabood et al., 2005), South Africa (Botha et al., 2004) and Brazil
(Hungria et al., 2001). Recently, Javaid et al., (2006) have reported that B. japonicum st.
TAL-102 is also effective in increasing nodulation, plant growth and yield in black gram
[Vigna mungo (L.) Hepper].
ARSHAD JAVAID & NASIR MAHMOOD
866
RESPONSE OF SOYBEAN TO BIOFERTILIZERS AND ORGANIC MANURES 867
A
0
10
20
30
40
50
Farmyard manure Green manure
Shoot length (cm)
Control EM
Bradyrhizobium Bradyrhizobium + EM
de cd bc a
e
de c
ab
C
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
Farmyard manure Green manure
Root dry wt. (g/plant)
c c
a-c ab
ca-c
a a
B
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
Farmyard manure Green manure
Shoot dry wt.(g/plant)
c-e de b-d
ab
e b-d bc
a
Fig. 1. Effect of soil amendments, Bradyrhizobium japonicum and EM application on shoot and
root growth in soybean. Vertical bars show standard error of means of six replicate plants. Values
with different letters show significant difference (p0.05) as determined by Duncan’s Multiple
Range Test.
Effect of EM application: EM application significantly enhanced shoot biomass in
farmyard manure. In contrast to that effect of EM application on all other studied plant
growth, nodulation and yield parameters was insignificant in either of the two soil
amendment systems (Figs. 1-3). These results are in agreement with the findings of
earlier workers who found that the effect of soil application of effective microorganisms
on crop growth and yield was usually not evident or even negative particularly in the first
test crop (Bajwa et al., 1999; Xu, 2000; Javaid, 2006) possibly because introduced
effective microorganisms have to face a competition with soil indigenous microflora
(Bajwa et al., 1995). Generally crop growth and yield with effective microorganisms
ARSHAD JAVAID & NASIR MAHMOOD
868
application tends to increase gradually as subsequent crops are grown (Javaid et al.,
2000a,b). According to Kinjo et al., (2000) the lack of consistency in results of the
experiments regarding effective microorganisms application may be due to variable
cultural conditions employed in previous studies. Imai & Higa (1994) stated that the
observed decline in crop yields can often be attributed to the fact that soils, where
conventional farming is practiced, have become disease-inducing or putrefactive soils
from long-term use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Consequently, it takes time to
establish a disease-suppressive or zymogenic soil. Until this conversion process is
completed, it is virtually impossible to exceed crop yields that were obtained with
conventional farming methods.
A
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
Farmyard manure Green manure
Nodule No./ plant
Control EM
Bradyrhizobium Bradyrhizobium + EM
bb
a a
aa a a
B
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
1.4
Farmyard manure Green manure
Nodule's fresh wt.
(mg/plant)
cd e cd
a-c
cd b-d a a
C
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
Farmyard manure Green manure
Nodule's dry wt.
(mg/plant)
bc
d
cd
ab
ab bc
a a
Fig. 2. Effect of soil amendments, Bradyrhizobium japonicum and EM application on nodulation in
soybean. Vertical bars show standard error of means of six replicate plants. Values with different
letters show significant difference (p0.05) as determined by Duncan’s Multiple Range Test.
RESPONSE OF SOYBEAN TO BIOFERTILIZERS AND ORGANIC MANURES 869
A
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
Farmyard manure Green manure
Fruit No. / plant
Control EM
Bradyrhizobium Bradyrhizobium + EM
e e
c
b
de
cd b
a
B
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
Farmyard manure Green manure
Fruit dry wt. (g/plant)
cd cd cd dd
b bc
a
Fig. 3. Effect of soil amendments, Bradyrhizobium japonicum and EM application on number and
biomass of fruits in soybean. Vertical bars show standard error of means of six replicate plants.
Values with different letters show significant difference (p0.05) as determined by Duncan’s
Multiple Range Test.
In green manure amendment affect of combined inoculation of B. japonicum and EM
was insignificant on all the studied parameters as compared to sole inoculation of B.
japonicum. However, in farmyard manure amendment co-inoculated plants exhibited
significantly greater shoot biomass, pod number and pod biomass as compared to control
and plants inoculated with either alone. There was 55, 32 and 20% increase in shoot
biomass in combined inoculated plants over control, and separate inoculations of EM and
B. japonicum, respectively. Similarly, the increase in pod number 65, 48 and 35% and
increase in pod biomass was 58, 60 and 52% in combined inoculated plants over control
and separate inoculations of EM and B. japonicum, respectively. Effect of EM
application on number and biomass of nodules in B. japonicum inoculated plants was
insignificant in both the soil amendment systems (Figs. 1-3).
Conclusion
The present study indicates that the benefits of biofertilizers can be best exploited if
they are applied with right combination of soil amendments. Both green manure and
farmyard manure amendments were suitable to achieve better crop growth, nodulation
and yield by B. japonicum inoculation. The efficacy of B. japonicum in increasing crop
growth and yield can be further enhanced by EM application in farmyard manure
amended soil.
ARSHAD JAVAID & NASIR MAHMOOD
870
Acknowledgement
Prof. Dr Tahir Hussain, Director Nature Farming Research and Development Centre,
Faisalabad, Pakistan provided us with cultures of effective microorganisms, and Dr.
Fouzia Yousaf Hafeez, National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering,
Faisalabad, Pakistan provided the B. japonicum inoculum that is gratefully
acknowledged.
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... The bacteria also contribute to increase the concentration of plant hormones in plants, which improve the growth of the root system, and thus increase their absorption of mineral elements and their accumulation in plants. The use of biological fertilization as a substitute for mineral fertilization also contributed to increase soil fertility and to improve the rate of plant growth and productivity, moreover raising its content of mineral elements NPK as well as its contribution to improving other soil properties (Wu et al., 2005) When adding bio fertilizers to the potato plant, they gave taller plants and tubers of greater average weight (Mbouobda et al., 2014) and contributed to increasing plant height and plant biomass as well as improving root growth (Javaid andMahmood 2010 andjavaid, 2011) Due to the fact that potato plants need large quantities of nutrients (Abdel Salam and Shams, 2012), and because of the high prices of mineral fertilizers and their transportation costs, the focus in recent years has been towards the use of biological fertilizers as they are inexpensive nutrients sources, as they work to fix nitrogen by using soil inoculation with bacterial strains as well as they working as a stimulant for plant growth, which constitutes a positive role in increasing the rate of growth and quantity of production and improving the quality of tubers. So, the main objective of this research is initiated to test the effect of organic and bio-fertilizer on potato plant productivity. ...
... The bacteria also contribute to increase the concentration of plant hormones in plants, which improve the growth of the root system, and thus increase their absorption of mineral elements and their accumulation in plants. The use of biological fertilization as a substitute for mineral fertilization also contributed to increase soil fertility and to improve the rate of plant growth and productivity, moreover raising its content of mineral elements NPK as well as its contribution to improving other soil properties (Wu et al., 2005) When adding bio fertilizers to the potato plant, they gave taller plants and tubers of greater average weight (Mbouobda et al., 2014) and contributed to increasing plant height and plant biomass as well as improving root growth (Javaid andMahmood 2010 andjavaid, 2011) Due to the fact that potato plants need large quantities of nutrients (Abdel Salam and Shams, 2012), and because of the high prices of mineral fertilizers and their transportation costs, the focus in recent years has been towards the use of biological fertilizers as they are inexpensive nutrients sources, as they work to fix nitrogen by using soil inoculation with bacterial strains as well as they working as a stimulant for plant growth, which constitutes a positive role in increasing the rate of growth and quantity of production and improving the quality of tubers. So, the main objective of this research is initiated to test the effect of organic and bio-fertilizer on potato plant productivity. ...
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... Soybean is fundamentally developed as rainfed crop during June to October, the weed pervasion during the yield development period was significant danger to farmers ( Table 4, 5). Under weed management classification 35% farmers reported absence of information about a large portion of the weeds and herbicide to be utilized for weed control henceforth they denied utilizing herbicides at their farms. ...
... Globally, leguminous crops are of vital pertinence for ensuring the food and nutritional security of rapidly increasing population especially in temperate regions of developing countries in South Asia (Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh). Among leguminous crops, soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merrill) constitutes one of the largest cultivated crops of Fabaceae family in the world [1]. It finds multi-dimensional uses in recent times and has been declared as the meat of plant origin and king of beans due to its high quality protein [2]. ...
... The grain yield of soybean was estimated by harvesting all plants in every experimental unit and bundled separately for subsequent threshing. Thereafter, seed yield was converted into per hectare basis using Equation (1). For estimation of biological yield, plants harvested from an area of 1 m 2 in each experimental plot were weighed separately using spring balance in the field and thereafter converted into per hectare by using formula 2. Additionally, harvest index (a measure of reproductive efficiency depicting grain ratio to total biomass) was also estimated using Equation (3). ...
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... Improved CO 2 concentration can increase the carboxylation activity of RuBP carboxylase in plants, thereby increased the photosynthetic rate of leaves. When CSP increases, CO 2 concentration and photosynthesis also increase (Javaid and Mahmood 2010). In our study, we found that the LCP in eggplant seedling leaves under the addition of 60% R/B = 3/1 light to white light treatment was the lowest, while the LSP, Y (I), and ETR (I), and the maximum regeneration rate of RuBP were higher, indicating that the eggplant seedlings were more adaptable to the environment under T3 treatment. ...
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... There are several reports about the positive effect of organic fertilizers on various cereals such as wheat (Javaid and Shah 2010), pea (Javaid 2006), Vigna mungo (Raja and Bharani 2012), and pulses and oilseeds (Badar and Qureshi 2015), confirming the use of these organic fertilizers as a promising approach to increase the resistance of cereals to environmentally stressful conditions. Supplementing soybean plants with green manure exhibited the highest biomass of the shoot, number, and biomass of pods compared to other treatments (Javaid and Mahmood 2010). However, more comprehensive and systematic investigations of functionality at the molecular level, in cereal plants, are required to further figure out their mechanisms to induce stress tolerance. ...
Chapter
The present chapter attempts to highlight the comprehensive and systematic study of organic fertilizers that mitigated abiotic stresses in cereals such as wheat, soybean, and pulses. Organic fertilizers are potentially one of the most promising alternatives to cope with yield losses caused by abiotic stresses. Organic fertilizers such as vermicompost, green manure, seaweed, and wood ash contain many different compounds that positively affect plant physiology under abiotic stresses. Various research works have been conducted to evaluate the organic fertilizers in improving plant growth when subjected to abiotic stresses. In this sense, this chapter aims to summarize the state of the art regarding various categories of organic fertilizers, their mode of action, and whether they are capable to improve cereals’ growth under abiotic stresses.KeywordsAntioxidantsBiofertilizersBiostimulantsEnvironmental stressesSeaweedsVermicomposting
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... Gicharu et al. (2013) have registered a significant increase in nodulation when three bean cultivars were inoculated with CIAT 899 (Rhizobium tropici) compared to the control treatments. In respect to the inoculation by Rhizobium, Rhizobium has similar effect on shoot and root dry weights of bean, compared to control, as reported by (Javaid and Mahmood, 2010;Mehrpouyan, 2011;Trabelsi et al., 2011). ...
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A pot experiment was conducted during July-August 1998 to study the effect of EM application on crop growth, nodulation and vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) colonization in Vigna mungo (L.) Hepper, in soils with different histories of effective microorganisms (EM) application and amended with farmyard manure (FYM) and Trifolium alexandrianum green manure (GM). In soil 1, EM application was started six months prior to soil 2. Root and shoot growth in soil 1, irrespective of the organic amendment, showed a positive response to EM application at 45 days growth stage with an initial decline at 30 days growth stage. In soil 2, response of root and shoot growth to EM was variable with respect to organic amendments. Nodulation was better in FYM than GM amended soils. EM enhanced the nodule number in both the soils with either amendment. Nodules biomass was, however, reduced by EM application in FYM amended soil 1. A positive response of VAM to EM was observed at later growth stage.
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A large number of field and greenhouse experiments have been conducted in Pakistan since 1990 to evaluate the use of Effective Microorganisms (EM) as an alternative to chemical fertilizers in crop production. One such study was a long-term field experiment conducted for five years on a rice-wheat rotation with the following treatments: control, chemical fertilizer (NPK), green manure (GM), and farmyard manure (FYM), all with and without the application of Effective Microorganisms (EM). Results showed that EM increased crop yields and improved soil physical properties, especially when applied with organic amendments. On-farm trials comparing EM-Biokasht (a mixed organic amendment inoculated and fermented with EM) with chemical fertilizer were conducted on rice. The average paddy yield for nine sites was essentially the same for both treatments. A lysimeter study on wheat under controlled conditions showed that the yield from EM-Biokasht plus one-half the recommended rate of NPK fertilizer was essentially the same as obtained with the full rate of chemical fertilizer. In another study, EM applied with VA mycorrhizae produced a higher yield of maize fodder compared with each inoculant applied alone. An experiment on citrus showed that EM applied in irrigation water increased the total soluble sugar concentration, juice content and average weight of fruit. The feasibility of EM technology in poultry production was also evaluated. Results indicated that EM provided to broiler chicks in drinking water significantly increased the live weight of chicks. In addition to these experiments, there has been considerable time and effort devoted to promote EM technology in Pakistan. For example, the Nature Farming Research Center (NFRC) was established in 1993 followed by founding of the Nature Farming Research and Development Foundation (NFRDF). A series of annual national seminars on nature farming began in 1993, and a research and development farm was established for studies on EM technology. The government of Pakistan has provided invaluable assistance in establishing a pilot plant for the production of EM cultures to ensure that our farmers can receive the benefits of EM technology.
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Acetylene reduction estimates of N2 fixation and nodulation by white bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) are generally low under field conditions. Recent reports using 15N dilution have resulted in higher estimates. In the work reported here, estimates of white bean N2 fixation determined by acetylene reduction, 15N dilution, and the difference method were compared under field conditions. Difference and acetylene reduction assays were also compared under controlled environment conditions. Soybean (Glycine max), which has given high estimates by all three methods and is generally well nodulated under field and controlled environment conditions, was included as a control. Results from field experiments showed that the 15N dilution and difference method estimates were not different within or between species. Acetylene reduction estimates of N2 fixation for soybean grown in the field or under controlled environment conditions were about half those of the difference assay. This was also true for white bean in the growth...
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Effective microorganisms (EM), a culture of coexisting beneficial microorganisms predominantly consisting of species of photosynthetic and lactic acid bacteria, yeast and actinomycetes, has been developed by Japanese Scientists. In the present study effect of soil sterilization on performance of a commercial EM biofertilizer (EM Bioab), in improving crop growth and yield in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) was studied in two types of organic amendments viz. farmyard manure (FYM) and Trifolium alexandrinum L. green manure (GM). Plant vegetative and reproductive growth and grain yield was better in heat-sterilized than in nonsterilized soil. EM application resulted an insignificant increase in root and shoot dry biomass and grain yield in heat sterilized FYM amended soil while in heat sterilized GM amendment it caused a significant reduction in grain yield. In nonsterilized soils EM application suppressed root and shoot growth at vegetative stage and had insignificant effect at maturity. Effect was more pronounced in FYM than in GM amendment. In nonsterilized FYM amended soil grain yield was also declined by 41% due to EM application.
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Soils of many potential soybean fields in Africa are characterized by low levels of biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) activities and often cannot support high soybean yields without addition of inorganic N fertilizers or external application of soybean rhizobia. The most probable number (MPN) technique was used to determine the bradyrhizobial populations that nodulate TGx soybean genotypes (a cross between nonpromiscuous North American soybean genotypes and promiscuous Asian soybean genotypes), cowpea or North American soybean cv. Clark IV, in soils from 65 sites in 9 African countries. The symbiotic effectiveness of isolates from these soils was compared to that of Bradyrhizobium japonicum strain USDA110. The bradyrhizobial population sizes ranged from 0 to 104cellsg−1 soil. Bradyrhizobium sp. (TGx) populations were detected in 72% and B. japonicum (Clark) in 37% of the soil samples. Bradyrhizobium sp. (TGx) populations were generally low, and significantly less than that of the cowpea bradyrhizobial populations in 57% of the samples. Population sizes of less than 10cellsg−1 soil were common as these were detected in at least 43% of the soil samples. B. japonicum (Clark) occurred in higher population densities in research sites compared to farmers’ fields. Bradyrhizobium sp. (TGx) populations were highly correlated with biotic but not abiotic factors. The frequent incidence of low Bradyrhizobium sp. (TGx) populations is unlikely to support optimum BNF enough for high soybean yields while the presence of B. japonicum (Clark) in research fields has the potential to compromise the selection pressure anticipated from the indigenous Bradyrhizobium spp. (Vigna) populations. Bradyrhizobium isolates could be placed in four symbiotic phenotype groups based on their effectiveness on a TGx soybean genotype and the North American cultivar Clark IV. Symbiotic phenotype group II isolates were as effective as B. japonicum strain USDA110 on both soybean genotypes while isolates of group IV were effective on the TGx soybean genotype but not on the Clark IV. The group IV isolates represent a unique subgroup of indigenous bradyrhizobia that can sustain high soybean yields when available in sufficient population densities.
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Effective microorganisms (EM), a culture of coexisting beneficial microorganisms predominantly consisting of species of photosynthetic and lactic acid bacteria, yeast and actinomycetes, has been developed by Japanese Scientists. In the present study effect of soil sterilization on performance of a commercial EM biofertilizer (EM Bioab), in improving crop growth and yield in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) was studied in two types of organic amendments viz. farmyard manure (FYM) and Trifolium alexandrinum L. green manure (GM). Plant vegetative and reproductive growth and grain yield was better in heat-sterilized than in nonsterilized soil. EM application resulted an insignificant increase in root and shoot dry biomass and grain yield in heat sterilized FYM amended soil while in heat sterilized GM amendment it caused a significant reduction in grain yield. In nonsterilized soils EM application suppressed root and shoot growth at vegetative stage and had insignificant effect at maturity. Effect was more pronounced in FYM than in GM amendment. In nonsterilized FYM amended soil grain yield was also declined by 41% due to EM application.