INCREASING SOYBEAN NODULATION AND GROWTH FOLLOWING INOCULATION OF EXOPOLYSACCHARIDEPRODUCING AZOTOBACTER IN A POT CULTUREREGINAWANT HINDERSAH, NENI ROSTINI, DIRGA SAPTA SARA AND ARIF HARSONO
Azotobacter is a widely used biofertilizer which improve soil health and plant growth through nitrogen fixation and phytohormone synthesis mechanisms. Exopolysaccharide (EPS) synthesis by Azotobacter is well documented, and EPS might play an important role in nodulation of soybeans (Glycine max (L.) Merill). The objective of this experiment was to evaluate the effectiveness of either crude exopolysaccharide or liquid culture of Azotobacter on populations of soil microbes in rhizosphere, nodulation, N absorption and biomass of soybean cultivar Anjasmoro. This pot experiment was carried out by using completely randomized block design consisting of five treatments and three replicates each. Soybean seeds were sown on 5 kg of Inceptisols soil order in polybag for five weeks with 10 mL or 20 mL of either crude EPS or liquid inoculant of Azotobacter. Results showed that at five weeks after sowing, both EPS and liquid inoculant of Azotobacter increased population of Azotobacter as well as number and dry weight of effective nodules. However only crude EPS enhanced N uptake and shoot dry weight of 5 weekold soybean. These results verified that EPS of Azotobacter could be used at vegetative growth stage to support soybean production.
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