In Jamaican soils, the indigenous population of rhizobia are low and are generally ineffective. This usually results in poor n o d u l a t ino of important grain legumes such as red pea (Phaseolus vulgaris) and cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), thus depriving the plant of needed nitrogen. A legume Inoculant project has been Initiated by the Scientific Research Council (SPC) which is aimed at producing good quality peat based inoculants to improve the yields of red pea and other legume crops, Rhizobium phaseoli strains obtained from CIAT and indigenous isolates were screened for their nitrogen fixing ability on red pea, The ability of selected rhizobia to survive in peat and to form effective nodules on the host plant under Sterile conditions after prolonged storage at two temperatures were also examined. Results indicate that R, phaseoli strains obtained from CIAT were better suited than Indigenous isolates for uses as inoculants , Inoculants had >10 7 rhizobia per g peat up to six (6) months storage at 30°C and 8°C and were capable of forming effective nodules on red pea under sterile conditions


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