Influence of inoculation and phosphorus regimes on symbiotic nitrogen fixation and phosphorus use efficiency of Algerian cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. (Walp.)) landraces
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To study the genotypic variation of cowpeas on plant growth and phosphorus (P) uptake which is a function of different P regimes in the soil rhizosphere , 6 landraces of cowpea commonly found in northern Algeria ( NE4, NE10, NE11, NKT5, NKT7, NKB7 ) and 4 landraces from Sahara in southern Algeria (NAG4, NAG5, NAT2 and ND3) were studied during 2013 – 2014 in greenhouse. They were inoculated with Mesorhizobium sp. (S1), Bradyrhizobium sp. (S2) and co – inoculation (S1 – S2) under three P treatments: no P supply (P0), soluble P (PP) and insoluble P (TCP). Only varieties commonly found in northern Algeria nodulated with soluble P (PP) and inoculation containing Mesorhizobium sp . (S1). As a result of the symbiosis, the use of S1 has significantly increased shoot dry weight by 22%, total P content by 20% and P use efficiency for symbiotic nitrogen fixation by 18% compared to no inoculation (T). The landraces from the northern of Algeria expressed a higher growth than those from Sahara in the south of Algeria, especially three of them (NE4, NE10 and NE11) who showed a high performance under all P regimes. We suggest that these three landraces may be useful for improving symbiotic nitrogen fixation in cowpeas when growth is limited by low – P soils and that they could contribute to sustainable farming systems through reduction of farm er’s dependence on fertilizers.