Open Access Original Research Article

Water Stress Amelioration and Plant Growth Promotion in Capsicum Plants by Osmotic Stress Tolerant Bacteria

Shweta Gupta, Rajesh Kaushal, Gaurav Sood, Bhawna Dipta, Shruti Kirti, R. S. Spehia

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-12
DOI: 10.9734/ijpss/2019/v29i230136

The present study was initiated with testing of fifteen previously isolated indigenous plant growth promoting rhizobacteria for drought tolerance. Among all, two best isolates Pseudomonas aeruginosa (JHA6) and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens (ROH14) were selected for in-vivo studies. A total of ten treatments comprising Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) (JHA6 and ROH14) inoculated plants held at 80%, 60% and 40% field capacity (FC) soil moisture level was laid down in Completely Randomized Design with three replications. Un-inoculated plants held at various stress levels and non-stressed conditions (100% FC) served as control. In general, both the bacteria could promote Capsicum growth in terms of increase in root and shoot biomass, height of plants, chlorophyll content as well as increase in nutrient content and uptake. Besides, the bacterial inoculated Capsicum plants could withstand water stress more efficiently as indicated by increases in leaf area, total soluble proteins and relative water content of treated water stressed plants in comparison to untreated stressed ones. Enhanced antioxidant responses were evident as elevated activities of enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase and peroxidase was recorded. Therefore, the ability of Capsicum plants to tolerate water stress is enhanced by application of the isolated bacteria which also function as plant growth promoting rhizobacteria.

Open Access Original Research Article

Influence of Farming Practices on the Chemical Properties of Soil in Small Scale Tea Farms in Kirinyaga and Tharaka-Nithi Counties of Kenya

I. H. Mogeni, W. M. Muiru, J. W. Kimenju

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/ijpss/2019/v29i230137

Soil chemical properties are important for growth of plants as they determine the nutrient availability for their uptake. Farming practices are treatments applied to farms in efforts to maximize crop productivity. Experiments were set up in Kangaita, Kirinyaga County, and Weru, Tharaka-Nithi County using randomized complete bock design to establish the influence of farming practices on the chemical properties of soil in tea production areas. This was aimed at understanding the role of the farming practices on the availability of soil nutrients and their effect on tea productivity. Each study site was divided into three zones depending on elevation and three farming practices identified within each zone namely neglected farms, manure applied farms and chemical fertilizer (NPK) applied farm. Soil samples were collected randomly from farms in each zone and analyzed for chemical properties. Soil acidity increased from neglected farms through manure applied farms to NPK fertilizer applied (standard) farms. The soils had generally low levels of K, Mg and Zn due to rapid removal through harvesting of the young shoots and leaves. Manure application is recommended as it is less degrading to the soils.

Open Access Original Research Article

A Comparative Evaluation of Selected Medicinal Plants on Male Fertility Indices (Reproductive Hormones and Sperm Profile) of Albino Wistar Rats: An Animal Case Study

Oliver E. Ngwu, J. I. Okoye

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-6
DOI: 10.9734/ijpss/2019/v29i230138

The study aims to investigate the effects of the medicinal plants {seeds} on the  reproductive hormones and sperm profile of male albino rats to ascertain their possible usefulness  as  fertility agent. Walnuts [Tetracarpidium conophorum], Sesame (Sesamine indicum), and Velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens) seeds were obtained and taken to the Department of plant  Science and  Biotechnology, University of  Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN). The seeds were milled into fine powder. One hundred and ten sexually matured aibino rats of about twelve weeks weighing 130-180 g were divided into eleven groups (1-11) using completely randomized design. There were two different control groups and rats in group 1 served as the Control 1 and were fed with normal commercial feed. Rats in group 2 were administered with a drug (Ketoconazole) to induce infertility. The Infertility Induced groups were treated with low dose (groups 3-5), medium dose (groups 6-8) and  high dose (9-11) for the period of nine (9) weeks. At the end and testes and Epididymides were surgically removed and weighed. Blood  sample analysis revealed that the concentration of sex hormones  measured in the male rats fed with medium plants (seeds) showed that the testosterone concentration significanty increased (p<0.05) in animal control group 1(normal rats) Therefore,  these medicinal plants walnut seeds showed significant increase in their testosterone concentration, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) which significantly enhanced the production of reproductive hormones which enriched the fertility status of these animals.

Open Access Original Research Article

GIS-based Analysis of Indigenous and Technical Knowledge of Soil Suitability Evaluation of Cocoa, Citrus and Oil Palm in Ejisu-Juabeng District, Ashanti Region, Ghana

Edward Calys-Tagoe, Adams Sadick, Gideon Asamoah, Mandela Alema

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/ijpss/2019/v29i230139

A study was carried out to assess local knowledge about soil suitability in four villages in the Ejisu- Juabeng District in the Ashanti region of Ghana. This study described two approaches in soil mapping using geopedologic approach promoted by Zinck (1988) and the farmer approach using their spatial knowledge and experience. Both maps were assessed for their suitability for cocoa, oil palm and citrus. First, farmers created their soil map and then assessed the soil suitability for a selected number of tree crops which are important for them economically. Secondly, on the other side which is the side of the expert, the approach for soil suitability classification was performed using the Automated Land Evaluation System (ALES) which uses the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) framework for land evaluation that defines suitability by employing matching (comparison) between land quality/land characteristics and land use requirement. The expert and farmer suitability maps were then compared using spatial analysis within the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) environment to determine levels of spatial correlation and the level of agreement among the maps. Farmers’ suitability maps for cocoa accounted for 81% of the study area, citrus and oil palm accounted for 71% and 26% respectively. In the expert suitability map 66% of the study area was suitable for cocoa, citrus and oil palm accounted for 41%and 39% respectively. The overall accuracy from the map comparison was 67% for cocoa, 43% for citrus and 14% for oil palm. The results of spatial correlation between expert and local soil suitability map units reflect differences and similarities in the ways both systems classify soils. Critical is the evaluation of topsoil characteristics, as the understanding and monitoring of topsoil dynamics are fundamental for land use decision-making by farmers. Merging technical and local thinking is indispensable to formulate sustainable land management schemes for agricultural production

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Hexanal as a Post-harvest Treatment to Extend the Shelf-life of Banana Fruits (Musa acuminata var. Sweet Banana) in Kenya

Peninah Yumbya, Margaret Hutchinson, Jane Ambuko, Willis Owino

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-16
DOI: 10.9734/ijpss/2019/v29i230140

The short shelf-life of fruits in the tropics continues to be a pressing problem for farmers and other value chain actors. Hexanal is a naturally occurring compound that has received attention as a novel postharvest compound preservative. This study was conducted to determine the effect of hexanal on enhancing the postharvest shelf-life and quality of ‘sweet banana’ fruits. Two hexanal concentrations (2% and 3%) were applied as either a pre-harvest spray or a post-harvest dip. Fruits were obtained from two different agro ecological zones of Kenya (AEZs II and IV). The treated fruits were kept under ambient room conditions of 25 ± 1°C and RH 60 ± 5% to ripen. Hexanal treatment maintained the fruits quality and prolonged the shelf-life by 6 days in the dipped fruits, 6 and 3 days in the sprayed fruits from the drier AEZ IV and colder AEZ II respectively compared to the untreated controls. Hexanal treatments significantly (P = .05) delayed or reduced the rate of most of the physicochemical parameters analysed irrespective of the concentration and mode of application used. Fruit firmness was significantly (P = .05) maintained up to day 6 and 9 of storage in the treated fruits compared to the controls which softened drastically as from day 3 and 6 in the sprayed and dipped fruits respectively. Hexanal treatment delayed ethylene and respiratory peaks by 3 days in both modes of application and significantly delayed progression of other ripening related changes such as 0Brix, titratable acidity, simple sugars and vitamin C. Sensory evaluation showed no significant differences in the various quality attributes analysed between the hexanal treated and control fruits. The results of this study indicate that, use of hexanal is a potential technology that could be adopted by banana farmers to enhance post-harvest shelf-life without compromising on quality.