Lime pelleting inoculated serradella (Ornithopus spp.) increases nodulation and yield
Hartley, E. | Gemell, L.G. | Herridge, D.F.
Lime pelleting of the inoculated seed is recommended for most pasture legume species to improve survival of the rhizobia on the seed and to counter deleterious effects of soil or fertiliser acidity on rhizobial numbers. Except for New South Wales, lime pelleting is specifically not recommended for serradella (Ornithopus spp.). Our objectives were to evaluate effects of lime pelleting on bradyrhizobial numbers on seed, and nodulation and growth of the serradella plants. Three experiments are reported at two acid-soil sites in northern New South Wales involving four cultivars of yellow serradella (Ornithopus compressus) and Bradyrhizobium sp. (Lupinus) strains WSM471 (current inoculant strain) and WU425 and WSM480. Lime pelleting increased bradyrhizobial numbers on seed, 24 h after inoculation, by an average of 90%. Similarly, lime pelleting increased nodulation and shoot dry matter of the inoculated plants by an average of 57 and 28%, respectively. The three strains were similar in effects on plant growth. Relative values for shoot dry weight, averaged over sites, were 100 for WSM471 and 98 for both WU425 and WSM480. Our results confirmed previous research that lime pelleting inoculated serradella seed was not deleterious to survival of the bradyrhizobial inoculum, and showed that it could result in enhanced symbiotic activity of the inoculum in some instances. We recommend lime pelleting of serradella and that WSM471 remain the inoculant strain.Show more [+] Less [-]