AS  Vol.8 No.9 , September 2017
Biochar Based Inoculants Improve Soybean Growth and Nodulation
Abstract: Most rhizobial inoculants that stimulate legume yield are applied with carriers that enhance root contact. The physicochemical properties of biochar are suitable for microbial growth, and it could be an alternative to peat, which comes from decreasing reserves but is the commonest solid inoculant carrier. The aim of the current research was to evaluate biochars as carriers of bradyrhizobia in solid inoculant and as coatings for seeds. Biochars and peat were inoculated with Bradyrhizobium japonicum strain 532C and storage time was assessed. A seed coating system was developed using biochar, bacteria liquid culture, water, and guar gum. The viability of bacteria in the coating and in solid biochar was evaluated at 4°C and 21°C. Two biochars were selected for a germination assay. Finally, greenhouse experimentation investigated the effect of biochar inoculant and seed coating on soybean growth and nutrient uptake. The storage time experiment showed that not all biochars equally sustain bacteria survival over time. The germination assay demonstrated that biochar seed coating had no effect on soybean germination. Greenhouse experimentation indicated that the effect of Pyrovac biochar on soybean growth characteristics and nutrient uptake depended on the fertilizer. The main finding was that biochar solid inoculant positively affected plant growth metrics, root characteristics, and the chemical composition of plants supplied with N-free nutrient solution.
Cite this paper: Głodowska, M. , Schwinghamer, T. , Husk, B. and Smith, D. (2017) Biochar Based Inoculants Improve Soybean Growth and Nodulation. Agricultural Sciences, 8, 1048-1064. doi: 10.4236/as.2017.89076.

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