Several legumes have natural ability to associate with nitrogen-fixing bacteria known as rhizobia. The efficiency of this association depends on the plant and bacterial genotype and the edaphoclimatic conditions. Peanut is a tropical legume able to associate with a wide range of rhizobia and the selection of efficient bacteria is important to increase the nitrogen fixation in this crop. In order to investigate the agronomic efficiency of two Bradyrhizobium strains, two peanut genotypes were used in field trails carried out in three environments located at Brazilian Northeast. The genotypes (BR1 and L7 Bege) were submitted to rhizobial inoculation (SEMIA 6144 or ESA 123, both Bradyrhizobium strains), and chemical nitrogen fertilization in randomized block design experiments. The following traits were analyzed: flowering (F), main axis height (MAH), number of nodules/plant (NN), number of pods/plant (NP) and weight of pods (WP). Differential responses were found in all to treatments to NN, NP and WP, in the three environments studied. Overall, ESA 123 showed good agronomic performance inducing higher pod production. The results support the evaluation of the Bradyrhizobium in further experiments aiming at its recommendation to commercial inoculants in Brazilian Northeast region.
Key words: Biological nitrogen fixation, inoculant, fertilization, symbiosis, rhizobia.
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