Effect of Cyanobacteria Application as Biofertilizer on Growth, Yield and Yield Components of Romaine Lettuce (Lactuca sativaL.) on Soils of Ethiopia
Keywords:biofertilizer, Cynanobacteria, lettuce, N-fixing
Nitrogen is an important element for plant growth and its availability in sufficient amount boosts production per unit area, increases the total supply of food and contributes to the quality of food. However, resource poor farmers in the tropics especially in Ethiopia are not able to use enough amount of inorganic N fertilizer for crop production due to high cost, and hence looking for alternative means of improving available nitrogen in the soil is crucial. Therefore, this study was conducted to assess the potential of cyanobacteria biofertilizer for growth of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). A factorial combinations of two soil types with contrasting reaction (Ziway pH of 8.0 and Yirgalem pH of 5.7) and five different N sources (dried and liquid cyanobacteria, urea, compost and a negative control) were laid out in a complete randomized design with three replications in the green house. The ANOVA revealed that the maximum value on all yield and yield parameters of the lettuce crop were obtained by application of the dried cyanobacteria. The dried cyanobacteria increased the number of leaf, leaf area, leaf length, fresh weight of the leaf, leaf dry weight and the root dry weight of the lettuce by 159.5, 112.4, 80.8, 48, 137.5 and 110%, respectively, over the control. Similarly, as compared to the control treatments, incorporation of the dried cyanobacteria biofertilizer to the soil increased the lettuce plant tissue P, Zn and Fe concentration by 38.54, 18.95 and 105.57%, respectively. Also, the lettuce tissue N concentration increased by 33.3% over the control due to the application of the liquid cyanobacteria while this was increased by 6.25% for dried cyanobacteria application.
Similarly, the soil chemical properties and fertility parameters significantly changed by the application of the cyanobacteria biofertilizer treatments. Thus, as compared to the control, total soil N increased by 0.27%, by applying the dried cyanobacteria. However, this study should be verified under field condition to consolidate our findings in the greenhouse.
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