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Dyremple B. Marsh, Wayne McLaughlin, and James S. Beaver

Methods to improve the grain yield of red kidney bean without the addition of commercially fixed nitrogen will have significant benefits to farmers in Jamaica and other tropical regions. Red kidney beans provide a major portion of the dietary protein for most families in these regions. Our experimental objective was to evaluate the nitrogen fixing capabilities of several breeding lines of Phaseolus vulgaris when inoculated with Rhizobium strains isolated from Jamaican soils. Surface sterilized seeds of 11 Phaseolus lines were inoculated with inoculum prepared from 5 day old Rhizobium YEM mixture. Rhizobium used were T2 and B17 from Jamaica and UMR 1889. The greenhouse study was arranged as a completely randomized design. Bean lines 9056-101, 9056-98B, 8954-5 and 8954-4 showed improved nodulation and N2 fixation when inoculated with UMR 1899. The combination of breeding line 8954-5 and Rhizobium strain B17 produced the highest nodule number and shoot dry weight of 193 and 0.72 g, respectively. The Rhizobium strain B17showed some ability to compete successfully for nodule sites against known effective strains.