Plant genotype x Rhizobium strain interactions in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.)

Authors

  • F.R. Minchin Plant Environment Laboratory, Department of Agriculture and Horticulture, University of Reading, Shinfield, Reading, RG2 9AD, U.K.
  • R.J. Summerfield Plant Environment Laboratory, Department of Agriculture and Horticulture, University of Reading, Shinfield, Reading, RG2 9AD, U.K.
  • A.R.J. Eaglesham Plant Environment Laboratory, Department of Agriculture and Horticulture, University of Reading, Shinfield, Reading, RG2 9AD, U.K.

Abstract

Four Rhizobium strains known to produce differences of up to 100 per cent in the vegetative dry weight of a test cowpea cultivar were used as separate micro symbionts in combination with four semi-erect cowpea cultivars with contrasting growth habits. The nodulated plants were grown in pots under controlled temperate condition in a plastic house during U.K. summer months and cultivar-strain interactions with respect to vegetative and reproductive performance were recorded. Significant differences between and within cultivar were recorded for almost all components of vegetative growth and seed yield. Although a single Rhizobium strain was not clearly superior for all cultivar tested, those isolated from tropical soil gave generally greater seed yield than the exotic strains tested. The significance of cultivar-strain election in cowpea breeding strategies is discussed.

Issue

Section

Research Papers