Rhizobia-legume symbiosis is the most well researched biological nitrogen fixation system. Coating legume seeds with rhizobia is now a recognized practical measure for improving the production of legume corp. However, the efficacy of some commercial rhizobia inoculants cannot be guaranteed in China due to the low rate of live rhizobia in these products. A greenhouse experiment was conducted to assess the effects of different rhizobial inoculant formulations on alfalfa productivity and nitrogen fixation. Two rhizobia strains, (ACCC17631 and ACCC17676), that are effective partners with alfalfa variety Zhongmu No. 1 were assessed with different concentrations of ammonium molybdate in seed-coat formulations with two different coating adhesives. Our study showed that the growth, nodulation, and nitrogen fixation ability of the plants inoculated with the ACCC17631 rhizobial strain were greatest when the ammonium molybdate application was0.2% of the formulation. An ammonium molybdate concentration of 0.1% was most beneficial to the growth of the plants inoculated with the ACCC17676 rhizobial strain. The sodium carboxymethyl cellulose and sodium alginate, used as coating adhesives, did not have a significant effect on alfalfa biomass and nitrogen fixation. However, the addition of skimmed milk to the adhesive improved nitrogenase activity. These results demonstrate that a new rhizobial seed-coat formulation benefitted alfalfa nodulation and yield.
Zhou, J., Deng, B., Zhang, Y., Cobb, A. B., & Zhang, Z. (2017). Molybdate in rhizobial seed-coat formulations improves the production and nodulation of alfalfa. PLoS ONE, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0170179