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Tropical and subtropical agroecosystems

On-line version ISSN 1870-0462

Abstract

OKOTH, Sheila A.; OTADOH, Jane A.  and  OCHANDA, James O. Improved seedling emergence and growth of maize and beans by Trichoderma harziunum. Trop. subtrop. agroecosyt [online]. 2011, vol.13, n.1, pp. 65-71. ISSN 1870-0462.

An indigenous strain of Trichoderma spp. was tested for its ability to promote seed germination and growth of maize and bean seedlings grown in the field at Embu District, Kenya. The trial was carried out for three seasons with the following treatments; two types of fertilizers, cow manure, and Trichoderma seed coat. Seedlings were counted 14 days after emergence from soil and a sample gently uprooted using a spade. Shoot height, root length, stem and root diameter measurements were taken. Trichoderma inoculation significantly increased rate of maize seed germination but had no effect on emergence of bean seedlings. Maize seeds coated with Trichoderma inoculum and planted on soils without fertilizer addition recorded the highest germination rate of 82.7% followed by seeds coated with the inoculum and planted in soils treated with manure (82.2%). Combination of the inoculum and fertilizer performed better at improving maize seed germination compared with fertilizers applied singly. This was the case for shoot and root growth. Seeds coated with the inoculum and planted in soils ammended with Triple Superphosphate and Calcium Ammonium Nitrate recorded the greatest shoot and root growth in both maize and beans. Increased growth of shoot and root caused by Trichoderma implied that there was beneficial effect of inoculation on plant growth and development since root collar and stem diameters were a measure of survivability of seedlings.

Keywords : Growth-promoting effect; Trichoderma spp.; fertilizers; inoculum.

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