Frontiers of Agriculture and Food Technology

Frontiers of Agriculture and Food Technology ISSN 7295-2849 Vol. 10 (3), pp. 001-004, March, 2020. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Determination of effective nodulation in early juvenile soybean plants for genetic and biotechnology studies

E. T. Gwata1*, D. S. Wofford1, K. J. Boote1, and H. Mushoriwa2

1Department of Agronomy, University of Florida, P. O. Box 110300, Gainesville, FL – 32611 – 0300, USA.

2Crop Breeding Institute, P. O. Box CY 550, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe.

Accepted 21 October, 2019

Abstract

Symbiotic fixation of atmospheric nitrogen (N2) is a complex physiological process influenced by the interaction of genetic elements in the higher plant species and rhizobia. No standardized, efficient method is available to critically examine the effect of altering the genetic elements in either component by selection and/or genetic engineering. At planting, seeds of a tropical (‘TGX-4E’) and non-tropical (‘Soma’) soybean cultivar were inoculated individually in sand-filled Conetainers® in a greenhouse with each of two strains within two rhizobial types (Bradyrhizobium japonicum and cowpea). Six weeks after inoculation, each plant was classified into one of two categories; vigorous plant with dark green leaves indicating effective nodulation and N2-fixation (+), and stunted plant with chlorotic yellow leaves indicating ineffective nodulation and no N2-fixation (-). The results indicated that this non-destructive method could be used to identify major genetic differences in the soybean and inoculant. Therefore, this method could be used to rapidly identify genetic segregants resulting from selection in plant breeding programs and/or genetic engineering.

Key words: effective nodulation, rhizobia, tropical soybean type, symbiosis.