African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6863

Article in Press

YIELD RESPONSE OF CICER ARIENTIUM L. INFLUENCED BY PLANT GROWTH PROMOTING RHIZOBACTERIA IN RAINFED SEMI-ARID LOESS SOILS

MUHAMMAD RASHID

Climate change has greatly affected the rainfall distribution and intensity in the rainfed regions resulting water shortage causing yield reduction in crops including (Cicer arientium L.) chickpea. Microorganisms improve soil fertility and enhance plant nutrition. Water stress inhibits plant growth due to higher concentrations of ethylene in rhizosphere. Rhizobacteria containing ACC-deaminase assist plant growth to tolerate these injurious effects. To test this hypothesis under rainfed sloppy lands an experiment was conducted consisting of treatments including (i) gypsum, (ii) plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR), (iii) farmyard manure (FYM) and, PGPR+FYM in RCBD arrangement to assess their effectiveness for improving growth of chickpea and changes in soil characteristics. The results of this experiment revealed that selected amendments increased grain and straw yield significantly (p ≤ 0.05). The mean maximum grain yield (1519 Kg ha-1) and biomass yield (1862 Kg ha-1) was recorded where PGPR was applied in combination with FYM. It was observed that grain yield was enhanced 6, 11, 13 and 19 % and biomass yield was increased 12, 15, 17 and 23 % by gypsum, PGPR, FYM and PGPR+FYM, respectively over control (untreated). Application of amendments enhanced soil organic matter and saturation percentage up to 27 and 5%, respectively while soil pH and EC were reduced by 2 and 18%, respectively. So, it was concluded that soil amendments especially PGPR can be used effectively to combat the soil moisture shortage under stress conditions to enhance the soil and crop productivity in rainfed conditions under changing climate scenario.

Keywords: PGPR, rainfed, soil moisture, soil fertility, Pakistan