Colonization of the alfalfa rhizosphere by plant growth promoting rhizobacteria
Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) were evaluated for their ability to colonize the alfalfa rhizosphere and increase dry matter yield of alfalfa. Field trials at Beaverlodge, AB., Sun Prairie, WI. and Outlook, SK. demonstrated that PGPR's Pseudomonas 31-12 (Ps.) and Serratia 2-68 co-inoculated with Rhizobium meliloti increased the dry matter yield by 11, 9 and 7%, respectively. In the first year of a three year field study planted in May 1993 at Outlook, the effect of formulation carriers on colonization of the alfalfa rhizosphere by spontaneous rifampicin resistant mutants (rif+) of PGPR's Ps. 31-12 and Serratia 2-68 was measured. No rif+ microorganisms were detected in the rhizosphere of uninoculated alfalfa. plants. Ps. 31-12 was the better colonizer of the rhizobacteria examined with populations exceeding 1 o6 cells per root 169 days after planting. The population of Ps. 31-12 was 10 times greater 35 and 169 days after planting in the peat formulation than in the clay formulation. Similarly, the population of Serratia 2-68 in the alfalfa rhizosphere was 1000 times greater in the peat formation than in the clay formulation. The populations of these microorganisms will be measured over the next two growing seasons.
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