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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Evaluation of Inoculant Viability on Commercially Inoculated Legume Seed1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 74 No. 5, p. 921-923
    Received: Nov 10, 1981

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  1. Jean E. Vincent and
  2. M. Scott Smith2



The objective of this study was to evaluate the viability of rhizobia on retail samples of preinoculated seed. Sixty-two samples of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) seed were evaluated by growing in plastic growth pouches and observing nodulation. This convenient test procedure gave results which related well to percent N in plants grown from preinoculated seed in nonsterile soil (pH 6.1). The merits of this test procedure, relative to other plant infection methods and plate counts, are discussed. Coated (pelleted) alfalfa seeds produced plants with more nodules in infection assays, higher plate counts of rhizobia, and higher N percentages in soil-grown plants than did uncoated preinoculated seed. Coated red clover seed was not significantly different from uncoated. During storage of preinoculated seed, viability of inoculant on uncoated seed decreased faster than on coated seed. The results suggest the conclusion that many retail samples of preinoculated seed do not carry optimum levels of viable inoculant.

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