Bacterial viability and biological seed treatment of canola
The use of sulfur-oxidizing plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) applied as seed treatment for increasing canola yield has been reported previously (Kloepper et al., 1988; Yesmin and Banerjee, 2000). For consistent plant growth response colonization of the rhizosphere and rhizoplane by the PGPR is essential. In many cases, however, results have been variable or not comparable. Inadequate colonization of the roots by the introduced PGPR strain is considered to be a major reason for sub-optimal results (Schippers et al., 1995). Bacterial viability is one of the most important factors for successful and adequate colonization of the rhizosphere and rhizoplane that ultimately affect the plant yield. Thus, the ability of microbial inoculants to successfully colonize expanding root systems is of major importance in determining the potential success of the biological seed treatments (Parke, 1991). Seed is used as a carrier for inoculum and biologicals should be in a state where it can most effectively colonize the emerging roots. Biological activity, however, may decline rapidly between the time of inoculation and seeding to field. The present study investigates the survivals of PGPR on biologically treated seeds with non-coated (bare), peat coated and fungicide-coated seeds. Mixture of PGPR strains were also examined as that might have greater potential to give a consistent performance under different environmental and growth conditions.
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