PhD update: Response of Groundnut varieties to Rhizobia inoculation in the Sudan and northern Guinea savannas of Nigeria

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My names are Umar, Faruk Galadanchi. I enrolled for my PhD programme at Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria in the 2013/2014 session. I developed my research topic and got the approval of my supervisory team, which consists of Prof. Ado A. Yusuf, Prof. Jibrin M. Jibrin, Dr. Abdelaziz Abdelgadir (IITA based supervisor) in collaboration with Dr. Babu N. Motagi (ICRISAT-Kano Station), to start the field work.

The aim of my research is to test the response of groundnut varieties to rhizobia inoculation and to assess different varieties’ potential to fix nitrogen. The justification for this work is twofold. First, good results with groundnut have been obtained elsewhere. However, little information is available in the region where I am conducting my research. Second, most of the work on rhizobia inoculation focusses on soyabean and not on groundnut.

The first experiment is done in two locations, Zaria and Kano, and consists of six groundnut varieties (four improved varieties, released for farmers, and two local varieties1) in the main plots and six inoculant treatments in the sub-plots. The inoculant treatments consist of four types of inoculants2, a treatment with Nitrogen fertilizer and a control. The aim of this experiment is to come out with the best combination(s) of variety (or varieties) of groundnut and strain(s) of rhizobia for both locations.

The aim of the second experiment is to assess the biological nitrogen fixation potential of several groundnut varieties, of which some are not yet released for use by farmers. Nitrogen fixation can then be included in the varietal characteristics such as yield and fodder qualities. Therefore I test fifteen groundnut varieties3 with an inoculant treatment (NC 92), a Nitrogen fertilizer treatment and a control. Also here I use a split plot design with variety in the main plot and inoculant in the sub-plot.

Although not fully analysed yet, the raw data is showing differences between the tested varieties already. Full analyses will probably confirm that observation. The legumes in the experiment clearly fixed sufficient nitrogen when all the necessary components, such as the right legume variety and rhizobia, were put in place.

1 Local varieties: Kampala, Kwankwaso. Improved varieties: SAMNUT 21, SAMNUT 23, SAMNUT 24 and SAMNUT 25

2 Inoculants: I1 = NC 92, I2 = SBG 234, I3 = MJR 518, I4 = WDL 129 (all source from Aliyu Abdullahi Anchau in Australia)

3 ICG 12991, ICGV 86024, ICGV 86124, ICGV 94379, ICGV-IS 07803, ICGV-IS 07947, ICGV-IS 07965, ICGV-IS 09926, ICGV-IS 09932, ICGV-IS 09982, ICGV-IS 09992, ICGV-IS 09994, ICGV-IS 09996, ICGV-SM 08523, and ICGV-SM 08568 (not are released to farmers) with SAMNUT 24 as a check