Effects of Acidity on Growth and Symbiotic Performance of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae Strains Isolated from Faba Bean Producing Areas of Ethiopia

  • M Jida
  • F Assefa
Keywords: Acidity tolerance, Nodulation, Nitrogen fixation, Vicia faba, Rhizobium, Faba bean


Faba bean is one of the legume crops commonly grown in Ethiopia. It is important source of dietary protein to the majority of population in the country. Soil acidity and related stresses are among the major yield limiting constraints for this crop. This study was conducted with the aim of evaluating acidity tolerance of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae strains isolated from faba bean growing regions of the country and their symbiotic performance under different acidic conditions. Four strains isolated from root nodules of faba bean were tested for tolerance to acidity in a defined liquid media. The results indicated that none of the tested strains was tolerant to pH 4.0 while two of them (AUFR46 and AUFR100) were found to be tolerant of pH 4.5. When tested at pH 5.0 only one isolate (AUFR58) was sensitive. The results of the present study also showed that all acid tolerant strains were recovered from highly acidic soil (4.8- 5.2) and the acid sensitive strain was isolated from neutral soil. A positive correlation (r= 0.92) was observed between minimum pH tolerated in culture media and pH of origin soil of the strains. Nodulation and nitrogen fixation abilities of these strains were evaluated on sand culture. The results indicated that at pH 4.5 and 5.0 nodulation was totally inhibited and only one isolate (AUFR58) could not be able to induce nodule formation on host plant roots at pH 5.5. The results also showed that acidity (pH 5.5) reduced shoot dry weight, nodules number, total nitrogen at a highly significant level (P<0.01) compared to plants grown at pH 6.5 and 7.0. In pot experiment with soil of different pH, inoculation of the rhizobial strains improved the growth, nodulation and nitrogen content of the plants significantly over the uninoculated controls. Besides, acid tolerant strains showed better performance over acid sensitive strains in acidic soils and thus, they are highly recommended for field test in acidic soil.

Keywords: Acidity tolerance; Nodulation; Nitrogen fixation; Vicia fabaRhizobium; Faba bean


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2305-3372
print ISSN: 2226-7522