While pulses are staple food-legumes in Ethiopia, their productivity is low due to low soil fertility. Elite rhizobial strains that significantly increased shoot dry weight and nitrogen (N) contents of common beans and soybeans in greenhouse were selected for two-year field trials to evaluate their effect on yields of the pulses in the field. Each pulse had six treatments, namely four rhizobial inoculants, uninoculated control, and synthetic N fertilizer. In the drought-affected year 2015, inoculated pulses tolerated moisture stress better than non-inoculated controls. Inoculation was conducive to higher or equivalent yields compared to synthetic N fertilizer. At Halaba, bean inoculated with strain HAMBI3562 gave the highest grain yield (1500 ± 81 kg ha−1; mean±SE) while the control yielded only 653 ± 22 kg ha−1. At Boricha, HAMBI3570 gave a grain yield (640 ± 35 kg ha−1) comparable to synthetic N. When rainfall was optimal in 2016, inoculation with HAMBI3562 and HAMBI3570 gave grain yields (around 4300 kg ha−1) equivalent to synthetic N. With soybean, strain HAMBI3513 produced consistently higher or comparable biomass and grain yields compared to synthetic N. In conclusion, HAMBI3562 and HAMBI3570 for beans and HAMBI3513 for soybeans can serve as inoculants for areas having similar conditions as the test areas.
- 414 Jordbruksbioteknologi