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Delivery of Inoculum of Rhizophagus irregularis via Seed Coating in Combination with Pseudomonas libanensis for Cowpea Production

1
Centre for Functional Ecology-Science for People & the Planet, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, 3000-456 Coimbra, Portugal
2
Symbiom Ltd., 563 01 Lanškroun, Czech Republic
3
Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, 253 43 Průhonice, Czech Republic
4
Department of Experimental Plant Biology, Charles University, Faculty of Science, 128 44 Prague, Czech Republic
5
Department of Environmental Health, Research Centre on Health and Environment, School of Allied Health Sciences, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, 4200-072 Porto, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2019, 9(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9010033
Received: 21 November 2018 / Revised: 8 January 2019 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 15 January 2019
Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp) is an important legume grown primarily in semi-arid area. Its production is generally inhibited by various abiotic and biotic stresses. The use of beneficial microorganisms (e.g., plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPB) and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF)) can enhance agricultural production, as these microorganisms can improve soil fertility and plant tolerance to environmental stresses, thus enhancing crop yield in an eco-friendly manner. Application of PGPB and AMF in large scale agriculture needs to be improved. Thus, the use of seed coating could be an efficient mechanism for placement of inocula into soils. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of the AMF Rhizophagus irregularis BEG140 and the PGPB Pseudomonas libanensis TR1 alone or in combination on the biomass and physiological traits of cowpea. Four treatments were set: (i) non-inoculated control; (ii) PGPB; (iii) AMF applied via seed coating; and (iv) PGPB + AMF applied via seed coating. Cowpea plants inoculated via seed coating with R. irregularis and those inoculated with R. irregularis + P. libanensis showed root mycorrhizal colonization of 21.7% and 24.2%, respectively. PGPB P. libanensis was efficient in enhancing plant biomass and seed yield. There was no benefit of single (AMF) or dual (PGPB + AMF) inoculation on plant growth or seed yield. The application of beneficial soil microorganisms can be a viable approach for sustainable cowpea production in precision agriculture scenarios. View Full-Text
Keywords: seed coating; plant growth promoting bacteria; arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi; Vigna unguiculata; sustainable agriculture seed coating; plant growth promoting bacteria; arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi; Vigna unguiculata; sustainable agriculture
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Ma, Y.; Látr, A.; Rocha, I.; Freitas, H.; Vosátka, M.; Oliveira, R.S. Delivery of Inoculum of Rhizophagus irregularis via Seed Coating in Combination with Pseudomonas libanensis for Cowpea Production. Agronomy 2019, 9, 33.

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