Effect of Compatible and Incompatible Endophytic Bacteria on Growth of Chickpea Plant
Chickpea is one of the important pulse crops among legumes due to its high protein content. During the last few decades chickpea production has declined because of various biotic and abiotic factors. To increase its production farmers are relying on the traditional methods (using chemical fertilizers) that pollute the environment. An alternative to chemical fertilizers is the eco-friendly process of endophytic inoculation. Compatible endophytic coinoculations improve plant growth as compared to single inoculation due to the synergistic performance of the constituent bacteria. In the current study, the compatibility of six bacterial inoculants (BM5 (rhizobial), BP2 and P36 (phosphate solubiliser), RE2, HE8, and ME9 (other endophytes) was tested. Among these bacterial inoculants, endophyte ME9 was found to be compatible with phosphate solubilising bacteria (P36) and rhizobial culture BM5. However, the endophytic bacteria RE2 and HE8 were found to be incompatible with phosphate solubilising bacteria and rhizobial bacteria. Further, individual inoculation, combined compatible and combined incompatible inoculants were applied to chickpea seeds in the pot house experiment. The results revealed that among all the inoculations, compatible bacterial consortia (ME9, P36 and BM5) produced highest increase in shoot (225%) and root dry weight (600 %) and grain weight (250 % ) compared to the control group. The incompatible inoculations were ineffective in improving the root dry weight, shoot dry weight, and grain weight in comparison to the respective individual inoculations.
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