EFFECTS OF PRE-PLANT APPLICATION OF NITROGEN FERTILIZER ON SYMBIOTIC NITROGEN FIXATION AND YIELD OF COWPEAS (VIGNA UNGUICULATA (L.) WALP.).
AuthorMOHAMED, IBRAHIM ELBASHIR.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe responses of two cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) cultivars inoculated with granular inoculum (a mixture of rhizobia) at different levels of applied nitrogen were evaluated. California Blackeye 5 (Ca5) and Knuckle Purple Hull (KPH) cowpeas were examined under field conditions for percent nodulation, nodule number, and nodule mass per plant, and nitrogenase activity at various times during the 1983 and 1984 growing seasons. Data were also obtained for shoot and root dry weights, seed yield, and protein content. Significant differences between inoculated and uninoculated plots were found at all nitrogen treatments for both cultivars with respect to nodulation percentage, nodule number, nodule mass, and nitrogenase activity. An inverse trend linear and quadratic was noted between nitrogen increments and nodulation (nodule number and nodule mass) of Ca5 and KPH cowpeas. High N (168 kg N ha('-1)) was more inhibitory to nodulation than low (28 kg N ha('-1)) N applied. Nitrogenase activity of both cultivars was significantly stimulated with low and inhibited by high levels of ammonium nitrate. Effects of nitrogen treatments on nodulation and nitrogenase activity were influenced by the stage of growth and cowpea cultivar. At the pod-fill stage, higher nodule numbers and nitrogenase activity were recorded for Ca5 as compared to KPH cowpeas. Morphological differences, with Ca5 plants being erect with few vines, whereas KPH plants were semi-erect and bushy, were observed between inoculated and uninoculated plants of Ca5 and KPH cowpeas at all levels of applied nitrogen. Dry weights of vegetative components of both cultivars were significantly improved when low (28 kg N ha('-1)) rather than high (168 kg N ha('-1)) nitrogen was added. Inoculation significantly increased seed yield of Ca5 cowpeas. When conditions were favorable seed yield of inoculated Ca5 exceeded that of inoculated KPH in all comparisons within the same increments of applied N. Seed yield of both cultivars was adversely affected when high levels of nitrogen were applied. Seed, leaf, petiole, and stem protein content were significantly higher with respect to inoculated than uninoculated plots. However, nitrogen fertilizers tended to decrease protein content of the measured parameters for Ca5 and KPH cowpeas.
Degree ProgramPlant Sciences