Open Access Original Research Article

Application of Humus obtained from the Anaerobic Decomposition of Aquatic Plants in the Soil Fertilization of Traditional Cultures of the Amazon

F. M Aprile, A. J Darwich, P. A. S Mera, B. A Robertson, K. K. do A. Serique

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1031-1043
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2014/11256

This research aimed to develop a technique for the humus production from anaerobic decomposition of aquatic plants to improve soil fertility in traditional communities in the floodplain Amazon.
Texture and grain size analysis, pH, total organic matter, organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous, Na+,K+,Ca2+ and Mg2+ in the soils and humus were determined, and the productivity of the humus in suspended gardens was determined. A diagnosis of the riverside communities was performed.
The results confirmed that the biomass produced by aquatic plants has high nutrients concentrations. The productivity of crop tested was 240 % when using a mixture of humus-soil 1:1, and with others ratios (½:1 and ¼:1) the results were also satisfactory.
This technique of fertilization may be a good alternative, cheep, sustainable and affordable for the traditional communities of the Amazon floodplain.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Organic Manure on Soil Bio physical Properties and Dry Matter Partitioning in Cauliflower

A. A. Beah, P. E. Norman, J. C. Scholberg, E. A. Lantinga, A. R. Conteh

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1044-1054
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2014/10953

Aims: The main aim of the study was to assess the influence of organic fertilizers on selected soil bio-physical properties and dry matter partitioning in cauliflower.
Methodology: A field experiment was conducted at Wageningen University Experimental Site, Netherlands during 2012 cropping season. The experiment was laid in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with four replications. The treatments included N-source (dried grass clover (DGC) and lucerne pellets (LUP)) and N application rate (0, 75, 150 and 225 kg N.ha-1). Data analysis included soil structure (% granular), soil pores, earthworm population, weight and activities and crop residues. Growth (plant height and diameter) and dry matter partitioning in leaves, stems and heads were also assessed.
Results: Cauliflower amended with 150kg N.ha-1 LUP and 225kg N.ha-1 DGC had highest numbers of large (>500mg) earthworms, while the non-amended plot (control) exhibited the lowest earthworm population. Percentage granular, organic residue and earthworm activities increased with increasing organic application. The LUP manure supported earlier and higher earthworm activities, which promoted good soil structure formation, plant growth and development. Generally, LUP-amended plants produced taller plants, larger stem diameter and higher dry matter partitioning in leaf and head organs than DGC- amended plants.
Conclusion: The results implied that organic fertilizers with low C/N ratio promote early micro-organism activities with consequent early good vegetative growth and yield. Earthworm activities influence soil fertility in ways that may be of great importance to sustainable land use in naturally degraded ecosystems as well as agro-ecosystems. Findings suggest use of proper land use management practices that promote earthworm activities and sustain crop yields. Future studies will consider comprehensive cost benefit analysis to compare the economic advantages of LUP over DGC.

Open Access Original Research Article

Genetic Control for Some Traits Using Generation Mean Analysis in Bread Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

Naheif E. M. Mohamed

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1055-1068
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2014/10730

In order to study the inheritance and genetic analysis of drought tolerance indicators a six generations of P1, P2, F1, F2, Bc1 and Bc2 of two wheat crosses i.e., Sakha 94xTokwie (C1) and Giza 168xTokwie (C2) under normal irrigation (N) and drought stress (D) were studied using generation mean analysis at Faculty of Agriculture, Sohag University, Egypt. Genetic variation was found for No. of spikes/plant (NS), 100-seed weight (SW), grain yield (GY), biological yield (BY), relative water content (RWC) and chlorophyll content (CC) (N&D) in two crosses. High heterosis was observed for all studied characters (N&D) except CC in two crosses. Genetic analysis showed over dominance in the inheritance of all studied characters (N&D) in two crosses. High to moderate heritability values in broad sense were detected for all characters in both crosses. Narrow-sense heritability (C1&C2) ranged from 0.18 for CC (D) to 0.37 for RWC (D) in C1. The genetic advance (C1&C2) was high (more than 40%) for GY (N&D), while NS, BY, RWC and CC (N&D) were moderate (14-40%), indicating the importance of direct selection for these characters. The genetic models fitted for all studied characters (N&D) in two crosses except RWC (D in C1), indicated dominance and additive x additive gene effects. Both additive x additive and dominance x dominance effects were significant for all studied characters (N&D) in two crosses except RWC (D in C1), supporting the presence of duplicate type of epistasis. Since several important characters are influenced by dominance and non-allelic gene interaction, it is advisable to delay selection to later generation with increased homozygosity.

Open Access Original Research Article

Growth and Yield Performance of Groundnuts (Arachis hypogaea L.) in Response to Plant Density

Harrison Kwame Dapaah, Ibrahim Mohammed, Richard Tuyee Awuah

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1069-1082
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2014/9445

A field study was conducted at the University of Education, Winneba, Mampong-Ashanti campus during the 2009 and 2010 seasons to determine the effects of different sowing densities on the growth and yield of three groundnut cultivars. Azivivi, Nkosour and Shitaochi groundnut cultivars were sown at four sowing densities [Low (14.29 plants m-2), Medium (16.67 plants m-2), Control (20.0 plants m-2) and High (33.33 plants m-2)] in a 3 x 4 factorial arranged in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Azivivi and Nkosour are improved 120-day maturing Virginia bunch types, while Shitaochi is a widely grown local 95–100-day maturing Spanish type. In 2009, Nkosour and Azivivi produced similar, but greater haulm (11-30%), pod (83-113%) and seed (71-95%) yield than the Shitaochi cultivar. The high plant density generally produced greater haulm, pod and seed yields in 2009 under adverse low rainfall environment. In 2010, Nkosour and Shitaochi produced similar haulm and seed yields, which were 12-17% and 9-17%, respectively, higher than the yields produced by Azivivi; and the low and medium sowing densities produced intermediate haulm and slightly greater pod and seed yields in 2010. It is recommended that Nkosour at high plant density be sown during the minor season; and Nkosour or Shitaochi at low or medium plant density during the major season for dual purpose haulm and seed production.

Open Access Original Research Article

Physiochemical Juice Characteristics of Various Citrus Species in Syria

Rima Al-Mouei, Wafaa Choumane

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1083-1095
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2014/10505

Aims: The investigation of some physiochemical juice characteristics of 37 varieties of Citrus genus, maintained in the Department of Citrus Research in Tartous, Syria.
Place and Duration of Study: Laboratory of Molecular Genetic, Faculty of Agriculture, Tishreen University, Lattakia, Syria, from 2011 to 2013.
Methodology: Thirty seven varieties belonging to 4 groups of Citrus genus (Lemon, Sweet orange, Mandarin and Grapefruit) were used in this study. Three trees/variety, and 10 fruits/tree were used in the analysis. Fruits were harvested from trees at mature stage and juice was extracted and promptly used for physicochemical analysis.
The following parameters of fruit quality were evaluated: percentage of juice/fruit, total soluble solids (TSS), pH and titratable acidity (TA) and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) content.
Results: The varieties produced the highest juice percentage were Meyer of lemon group (58.42%), Balady of sweet orange (57.61%), Ortanique from mandarin (56.10%) and Red blush of grapefruit group (49.41%).
For TSS parameter, Mandarin varieties showed the highest TSS values (9.5-13.9) while Lemon varieties showed the lowest ones (6.11-7.9).
Varieties of Lemon group exhibited the lowest pH values (2.21-2.46) while the highest pH value was detected in sweet orange varieties (5.94).
Percentage of total acidity in citrus juice varied and ranged from 0.08g\100ml in Succary (Sweet orange group) to 5g\100ml in Eureka (Lemon group).
Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) content showed large variations within and between Citrus groups where the highest value (50.66mg\100ml) was revealed in Clementine while the lowest one (22.52mg\100ml) was found in Nova (Mandarin group).
Conclusion: The citrus varieties grown in Syria showed large variations in their juice physiochemical characteristics between and within Citrus groups. The juice of all varieties was of a good quality on the base of the different studied parameters.

Open Access Original Research Article

Economic Optimization of Nutrient Application to Coffee in Northern Tanzania Using SAFERNAC

Godsteven Maro, Bert Janssen, Balthazar Msanya, Jerome Mrema

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1096-1111
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2014/8361

The aim of this work, as an extension to SAFERNAC model, was to establish economically optimum combinations of N, P and K application to Arabica coffee in the Northern coffee zone of Tanzania. The study was conducted in Hai and Lushoto districts between 2010 and 2012. Prices of nutrient inputs and those of parchment coffee were introduced into the original SAFERNAC model, which was used to obtain yields from a soil of known properties receiving different levels of input N, P and K from both organic and inorganic sources (ISFM). The costs of these were derived from experience in Northern Tanzania, while coffee prices were estimated to range between 1250 and 2500 TZS kg-1. The result was economically optimum N:P:K ratios that give highest net returns and value : cost ratios in situations of low, medium and high soil fertility. It was also shown that farmers’ decision to deviate from the optimum and the allowable level of such deviation, depend much upon the prices of nutrient inputs in equivalent terms. In the medium-fertility situation (which applies in the study districts), the highest yield increment was noted with the maximum amount of N and P. The optimum application rate was 310 kg N and 200 kg P per ha, where the profit margin (the gap between gross returns and costs) is highest. This is an indication that soil-available K is likely to suffice the needs of the crop for optimum productivity, but this is largely dependent on the K fluxes in different soil types. The optimum rates were tested with actual soil data in the two study districts, against 5 tons of farmyard manure and a combination of the two. At both the coffee prices of 1250 and 2500 TZS kg-1, ISFM intervention (combination of organic and inorganic inputs) was more profitable than the other options, while coffee production showed to be more profitable in Hai than Lushoto.

Open Access Original Research Article

Indigenous Browse Plants Used For Goat Production in AkwaIbom State, Nigeria; Their Phytochemical, Mineral, Nutrient and Anti-nutrient Contents

M. E. Bassey, A. A. Peters, G. E. Etuk, T. B. Udoh

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1130-1142
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2014/5997

Aims: Common indigenous browse plants were identified in this work and their phytochemical, nutrient, anti-nutrient and mineral constituents were investigated. Recommendations have been made based on the findings.
Study Design: A structured questionnaire was administered to goat farmers. Browse plants were collected, authenticated and stored in the herbarium of the Department of Botany and Ecological studies, University of Uyo. Chemical analyses were done on ethanolic extracts of four of the browse plants.
Place and Duration of Study: Plant collections were made from Uyo, Ikono, IbiakuItam in Itu, Oku Abak, in Abak and Anamfa in Oron Local Government Areas.
Methodology: A total of 45 goat farmers (60% males and 40% females) aged 20-46 years were given questionnaires. The chemical analyses were done using mainly the methods of Association of Official Analytical Chemists (A.O.A.C).
Results: A total of 20 plant species in 19 genera and 13 families were identified as common browse for goats in AkwaIbom State. Palisota hirsuta (Thunb.) K. Schum, Rauvolfia vomitoria Afzel., Spondias mombin L. and Manniophyton fulvum (Muell) Arg. showed the presence of bioactive constituents like tannins, flavonoids, cardiac glycosides, saponins, anthraquinones, alkaloids and cyanogenic glycosides. Terpenes though present in trace amounts in M. fulvum, was completely absent in S. mombin while anthraquinones were absent in M. fulvum. The ash content was highest in P. hirsuta (10.6%), crude protein was highest in R. vomitoria (25.88%), crude fibre, crude fat and moisture content were highest in P. hirsuta (28.57%, 12.22%, and 84% respectively). Calcium (200mg/100g), magnesium (74.4mg/100g) and iron (97.58mg/100g) were very high in P. hirsuta than in the other three browse plants. The toxic components such as oxalates were highest in S. mombin (598.4mg/100g).
Conclusion: These browse plants may form good feed resources for modern intensive native goat production. Their conservation by cultivation is recommended.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Days to Flowering on Plant Height and Yield of Rice (Oryza sativa L.)

A. L. Ranawake, U. G. S. Amarasinghe, M. J. Hewage, N. G. J. Pradeepika

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1143-1152
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2014/11421

Aims: To study effect of days to flowering on the plant height and yield of rice.
Study Design: Experiment was carried out according to the complete randomized block design. Four replications were designed for the experiment and each replicate consisted of 3 lines and twenty plants were included in to each line. Data were collected in 80 plants of the each middle line of four replicates.
Place and Duration of Study: Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna, Mapalana, Sri Lanka, From 2011 November to 2013 November
Methodology: Days to flowering (DF) has been used for plant height (PH), and yield/plant (g) (YLD) were measured in 102 traditional rice cultivars. Eighty plants of each cultivar in four replicates were selected for data collection. Rice cultivars were grouped as 70, 80, 90, 100 DF. Path analysis was done using IBM SPSS AMOS statistical software. Path correlations were calculated to determine the total effect of DF on the PH and YLD.
Results: The effect of DF on the PH and YLD was greatly varied with the DF. Effect of DF on PH was highest when DF was the shortest. Effect of DF on both YLD and PH were maxima at 80 DF. The DF on the YLD was a cubic relationship of days to flowering with a minimum and a maximum value which is fitted with the equation
Conclusion: The DF on the YLD was a cubic relationship of days to flowering with a minimum and a maximum value which is fitted with the equation y = 0.158x3 - 1.365x2 + 3.596x - 2.78, while the relationship between DF and PH was a quadratic which can be explained by the equation y=0.127x2 - 0.734x + 1.077.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effects of Irrigation Water and Mineral Nutrients Application Rates on Tissue Contents and Use Efficiencies in Seed Potato Tuber Production

K Gathungu Geofrey, N Aguyoh Joseph, K Isutsa Dorcas

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1153-1166
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2014/10337

Soil fertility and unreliable rainfall have become important in seed potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) production in Kenya. Knowledge on water and mineral nutrient use efficiencies will help predict the best application rates for optimal seed potato production. A study was conducted at Egerton University, Horticultural Research and Teaching Farm to determine the effect of integration of irrigation water, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) nutrient on water, N and P use efficiencies and tissue content. In a split-split plot, the irrigation water supply (40%, 65% and 100% field capacity) was assigned to main plots, N (0, 75, 112.5 and 150kg N/ha) to subplots and P (0, 50.6, 75.9, 101.2kg P/ha) to sub-subplots, each treatment replicated three times and trial repeated once. Irrigation water was drip applied throughout the potato growth period, with N supplied as urea (46% N) in two splits, and P as triple superphosphate (46% P2O5) at planting time. Data on seed potato yield collected from each treatment at harvest was used to calculate water, N and P use efficiencies. Oven dried ground tubers were used to determine N and P contents. Analysis of variance was done and significantly different means separated using Tukey’s Studentized Range Test at P≤0.05. High irrigation water at 100% compared to 65 and 40% rate resulted in relatively high N and P use efficiencies, but decreased water use efficiency. High (100%) compared to 40% irrigation rate when integrated with high compared with low N and P application rates reduced the WUE by 6.1 and 8.1kg/m3, increased NUE by 14.4 and 13.3kg/kg, and PUE by 73.4 and 69.5kg/kg, in Trials I and II respectively. Application of intermediate to high N and P nutrient increased the water, N and P use efficiencies. Regardless of irrigation water rate tuber tissue N and P contents increased with N and P application rate. Application of low to intermediate irrigation water, intermediate to high N and P will increase their use efficiencies and tissue contents during seed potato production.

Open Access Review Article

Role of Glomalin in Improving Soil Fertility: A Review

Ajay Pal, Sonali Pandey

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1112-1129
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2014/1128

Mycorrhizal fungi are found naturally in undisturbed soils around the world. They form symbiotic relationships with almost all plants ranging from ornamentals, fruits, vegetables, trees and shrubs. Most of the plants have a strong dependency on mycorrhizal fungi for optimal growth. The mycorrhizal symbiosis is a key stone to the productivity and diversity of natural plant ecosystems. The symbiotic relationships are found between fungi and plants and the most prevalent plant symbiosis known and as a result VAM symbiosis is found in more than 80% of vascular plant families. Glomalin-related soil protein component is produced by Arbuscular mycorrhiza, and as stable glue the hyphae has an important role in soil aggregate stabilization. The glomalin produced from some crop rotation cropping system could promote aggregate stability.
Glomalin binds to soil, producing a uniform aggregated structure composed of minerals and humus. Increasing organic matter increases cation exchange capacity of soils. Primarily, these aggregates permit the soil to retain water better and facilitate root penetration. In addition, the aggregates reduce soil erosion and compaction while facilitating root hair adhesion, enhancing nutrient and water uptake.