RHIZOBIUM COMPETITION IN ANTIGUAN SOILS: STRAIN ISOLATION

in HortScience
Authors:
Dyremple B. MarshDepartment of Agriculture, Lincoln University, Jefferson City, MO 65101

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Lurline E. MarshDepartment of Agriculture, Lincoln University, Jefferson City, MO 65101

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Brian CooperCARDI, St. Johns, Antigua, West Indies.

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The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to determine the competitive ability of three Rhizobium strains introduced into Antiguan soil. Strain-specific antisera were prepared against each strain. Field experiments were conducted in Antigua using Rhizobium strains USDA 3384, USDA 3473, and USDA 3474 as a peat-base inoculant and pigeon pea as the test crop. Nodules from the respective treatments were removed and prepared for ELISA studies. There was cross reactivity between the antisera, but it was greatly reduced or eliminated by repeat adsorption with the cells of the cross-reacting strains. Nodule occupancy by plants treated with Rhizobium 3384, 3473, and 3384 was 70%, 90%, and 100%, respectively. Nodules from 3384 and 3474 treated plants contained cells with no antigenic homology to the three antisera. We concluded that these nodules were developed from indigenous Rhizobium strains found in Antiguan soils.

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