Effects of Rhizobuim leguminosarum inoculation on the growth and yield of Mucuna flagellipies
The effects of Rhizobium leguminosarum inoculation on the growth and yield of Mucuna flagellipies (Vogel ex Hook) was conducted for two years (2008 and 2009) in the Greenhouse, Department of Agronomy, Obubra, Cross River University of Technology, Cross River State. Treatments were three Rhizobium strains (CB188, CB756, IAC636 inoculants and no Rhizobium (control), inoculated on Mucuna flagellipies seedlings planted in the polyethelene bags (50x30cm) arranged in a Completely Randomized Design with eight replications. The results showed that all cases of inoculation with Rhizobium strains significantly (p<0.05) increased higher growth and yield compared with the noninoculated ones. Rhizobium inoculated plants produced more number of leaves per plant (28.4 and 29.3), branches (5.3 and 6.2), longest vine length(225.5 and 238.3cm) than the non inoculated at 50% flowering in 2008 and 2009 seasons respectively. The highest leaf area index value (4.03 and 4.06), biomass dry weight of plant fractions; nodule ( 0.78 and 0,79g), vine(11.32 and11.44g), root (6.51 and 6.51g),and leaf (14.5 and 15 2g) were obtained in plants inoculated with IAC 636 Rhizobium strains. Inoculation also promoted earlier flowering ,pod formation in Mucuna flagellipies as compare with the non inoculated ones .Similarly, the same strain (IAC 636) gave the best seed yield of 120.0g and 126.1g per plant in 2008 and 2009 seasons, respectively. The findings suggested that inoculation of Mucuna flagellipies with Rhizobium is beneficial and produced high seed yield and could be use as biofertilizer an alternative to nitrogen fertilizer.
KEY WORDS: Mucuna flagellipies, Rhizobium, Inoculation, Growth, and Yield.