Open Access Short Research Article

Palynological Features of Iris sintenisii (Iridaceae)

N. Kallajxhiu, G. Kapidani, P. Naqellari, B. Pupuleku, S. Turku, A. Dauti, A. Jançe

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-5
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/26258

This study is a palynological description of the pollen grains of Iris sintenisii, Iridaceae. The pollen samples were collected in the hills of Krasta next to Elbasan city, Albania. The palynological features of the pollen grains of this specie were studied for the first time and were compared with that of Iris germanica. The slides were prepared using two methods: Acetolysis (according to Erdtman, 1960) and basic fuchsine method (according Smoljaninova & Gollubkova, 1953).

Important morphological features of the pollen grains as symmetry, form, size, apertures and also the thickness of exine were examined. The results have shown that the pollen grains of Iris sintenisii are smaller than the pollen grains of Iris germanica. The thickness of the exine of Iris sintenisii is thinner than the exine of pollen grains of Iris germanica.

Open Access Original Research Article

Soil Physical and Chemical Properties of Cacao Farms in the South Western Region of Cameroon

Nkengafac Jetro Njukeng, Virupax C. Baligar

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/27037

Aims: To evaluate important physical (texture) and chemical [(pH, N, C content, exchangeable bases (K, Ca, Mg), exchangeable Al, CEC and % BS] properties of major cacao (Theobroma cacao L) growing soils of the South Western Region of Cameroon.

Place and Duration of Study: Cocao farms in the South West Region of Cameroon and the Institute of Agricultural Research For Development (IRAD) Ekona, Soil and Plant Analytical Laboratory from March to December 2013.

Methodology: Soil samples were collected from cacao plantations in the humid forest zone of South West Cameroon. Locations were referenced using a GPS (Model Garmin 600). Seventeen matured farms which ranged in size from 2 to 5 ha were selected for this study. Composite soil samples were collected using soil auger at 0-30 cm depth.  These soils were analyzed for particle size, pH and exchangeable cations (Ca2+, Mg2+, K+ and Na+). The organic carbon, Total Nitrogen, Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC), Effective Cation Exchange Capacity (ECEC), %BS, and %Al saturation were also determined.

Results: The soils of the studied sites were slightly acidic, with pH (H2O) range of 4.58-6.46. The soils were clayey in texture, ranging in clay content from 19.79 to 77.04% and sand content from 4.25 to 64.42%. The total nitrogen levels for all the studied sites ranged between 0.11 and 0.82% with an average of 0.30%. Soil organic carbon levels were quite good for crop production (1.02 – 7.75 %). The exchangeable potassium and magnesium levels ranged between 0.11–0.67 cmol/kg and 0.31–2.41 cmol/kg respectively. The exchangeable calcium levels in these soils ranged from 1.11–18.00 cmol/kg while available phosphorus levels ranged between 0.01-26.00. mg/kg. 

Conclusion: The soils evaluated were generally adequate in required nutrients but could become deficient in nutrient content in the near future especially as there is no fertilizer application being practiced and further increase in yields might deplete the essential nutrients and such a situation could lead to soil infertility in this region. Therefore it is essential to formulate and follow best nutrient management strategies for this cacao growing region to maintain adequate soil nutrient status for sustainable cacao bean production.

Open Access Original Research Article

Impact of Spraying with Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Some Commercial Nutrients on Lettuce Plant (Lactuca sativa L.) Productivity and Prevention of Some Insect Pests

D. K. Farrag, O. A. Alaa El-Dein, I. F. Khafagy

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-11
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/27177

This study was carried out during two winter seasons of 2014/2015 at the Experimental Farm of Sakha Agricultural Research Station, Kafr El-Sheikh Governorate, Egypt to investigate the effect of spraying with Saccharomyces cerevisiae NCAIM Y 00216 and commercial nutrients (super blue green and Novatrein) with different levels of mineral fertilizers on productivity of lettuce (Lactuca Sativa L. cv. Balady) and its protection from some insect pests (Aphids gossypii and Empoasca lybica) and assisted predators (Scymnus spp. and True spider). Pants were sprayed twice times at 30 and 45 days after transplanting.

The results indicated that vegetative growth, yield and its components and chemical constituents were promoted with all spraying materials as compared to control (sprayed with water). Generally, spraying plants with S. cerevisiae with different levels of mineral fertilizers showed significant increases in vegetative growth, yield and its components and chemical constituents than sprayed by other treatments as well as control. T2 treatment (Foliar spray with liquid culture of S. cerevisiae at 4 mL-1 + 100% NPK) gave the highest increases over control in N, P, K and protein %, which exhibited 4.08, 0.48, 4.84 and 25.49% compared to treatment of control that gave 3.12, 0.41, 4.08 and 19.54% at season 2014, respectively. Results of season 2015 gave a similar trend. On the other hand, the entomological results showed that plants treated with S. cerevisiae caused higher infesting to insect pests and assisted predators because it was more suitable for insect feeding as compare other treatments. Therefore, limit application of chemicals could be recommended for lank pest control.

Open Access Original Research Article

Influence of Maternal Season on Field Establishment of Sorghum Varieties Grown in Zimbabwe

N. Ngwenya, B. T. Manenji, T. Madanzi, S. Kudita, W. Mahohoma

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/24731

Maternal season defined, as the prevailing environmental conditions during crop growth has been known to influence not only grain yield but also seed quality. A laboratory and field experiment were conducted in October 2014, to determine the influence of total rainfall and mean monthly temperature on germination, vigor and emergence of sorghum seeds which were harvested from three different seasons and were kept under controlled conditions. The laboratory experiment was a 3 x 3 factorial experiment laid in completely randomized block design (CRD) replicated three times. The first factor was variety (Macia, SDSL 89473 and Sima), the second factor was growing season (2004/5, 2006/7, 2007/8). A field experiment was carried out to investigate the emergence of seed materials used in the laboratory experiment. The experiment was a 3 x 3 x 3 factorial treatment structure laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with the third factor being sowing depth at 5.0, 7.5 and 10.0 cm. Seedling emergence was observed at 10 days after sowing. In the laboratory experiment it was observed that there was no significant difference (P>0.05) on the effects of season and variety on germination of seeds. However, there was significant difference (P<0.001) on seed vigor due to variety under laboratory conditions. For the field experiment, there was significant interaction (P<0.001) on seedling emergence due to season, sowing depth and variety. The highest emergence for all varieties was observed at a sowing depth of 5cm. It can be concluded that maternal season, which is the season in which the seed was grown, has great influence on the vigor of seed produced under dry-land agriculture. There is need to repeat the experiment using more seed lots harvested at many different seasons in order to determine the exact optimum amount of rainfall and temperatures during the maternal season that will promote optimal germination and emergence of dry-land sorghum varieties.


Open Access Original Research Article

Microbial Analyses of Soil Samples in the Vicinity of Dye Pits in Zaria City, Northern Nigeria

M. Ramadan, F. J. Abubakar, A. R. Ismaila, I. B. Aguh, I. B. Aguh

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/26426

This study was conducted to investigate the microbial enumeration and biomass of soil samples in the vicinity of dye pits in Zaria City, Northern Nigeria. A total of 90 soil samples were collected from five different dye sites with one location from non dye site. The pH of the non dye area was slightly acidic and ranged from 4.70- 5.40 both in CaCl2 and H2O while the contaminated samples ranged from 8.59-9.98 which indicate alkalinity. Microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen ranged from 170.82 - 334.44 mg/kg, and 16.89 - 37.28 mg/kg respectively. The soil microbial biomass, carbon and nitrogen including total bacterial and fungal counts of the soil samples were estimated using standard technique. Microbial enumeration showed the abundance of bacterial and fungal counts. The dominant genera of bacterial and fungal counts were Bacillus and Aspergillus. The highest bacterial count was observed in Kofar Gayan, while the lowest value was in Mabuga so also for fungal counts. Similar bacterial and fungal species were encountered in the different sampling locations in the course of this study, but their occurrences and levels of predominance were different. Bacillus spp dominated the bacterial isolates while Aspergillus spp was the most dominant fungus across the different sampling locations. Bacterial and fungal abundance were typical of an environment with high species richness and functional diversity.


Open Access Review Article

The Role of Organic Matter in Conservation and Restoration of Soils in Southeastern Nigeria: A Review

Edeh Ifeoma Gloria, Kefas Patrick Katan

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-16
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/27182

The threat and subsequent destruction of land by soil erosion and other land degradation agent has been the subject for intensive debate. The main focus of the paper is providing a critical scientific review of the current state of knowledge regarding the role of organic matter to soil conservation and restoration of degraded lands in southeastern Nigeria. These are put into context to provide a sound scientific basis for policy development, to identify gaps in current knowledge and to recommend further research relating to organic matter usage. Causes and impact of land degradation as well as soil conservation and the role organic matter play in conserving soil and restoring degraded lands were examined.