African Journal of

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biotechnol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1684-5315
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJB
  • Start Year: 2002
  • Published Articles: 12481

Full Length Research Paper

Growth promotion and protection against Orobanche foetida of chickpea (Cicer aerietinum) by two Rhizobium strains under greenhouse conditions

Imen Hemissi1,2,3*, Yassine Mabrouk3, Neila Abdi1,4, Manel Bouraoui1,4, Mouldi Saidi3 and Bouaziz Sifi1
  1Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique de Tunisie. 2Institut National d’Agronomie de Tunis, Tunisie. 3Unité d’Utilisation Médicale et Agricole des Techniques Nucléaires, Centre National des Sciences et Technologie Nucléaires, Sidi Thabet, 2020 Tunisie. 4Faculté des Sciences de Bizerte, Tunisie.
Email: [email protected].

  •  Accepted: 31 December 2012
  •  Published: 31 March 2013



Fetid broomrape (Orobanche foetida Poir.) is a chlorophyll lacking holoparasite that subsists on the roots of plants and causes significant damage to the culture of leguminous plants particularly chickpea (Cicer aerietinum L.). The investigation was done about potential of Rhizobium strains for biological control of O. foetida using a commercial chickpea cultivar (Béja 1) and different Rhizobium strains. Firstly, benefit of bacterial inoculation on plant growth and efficiency in N-incorporation were demonstrated with four isolates, Azm, Bj, Sd.N2 and Sd.N1. Rhizobium strains were investigated for their ability to control O. foetida using pot and Petri-dish experiments. Inoculation of chickpeas with two (Azm and Bj) of the Rhizobium strains induced a significant decrease in Ofoetida seed germination and in the number of tubercles on chickpea roots. Furthermore, other symptoms, including the non-penetration of the germ tube of germinated seeds into chickpea roots followed by radical browning and death of the parasite, were observed in the presence of these inoculated chickpea plants. The hypothesis that roots secrete toxic compounds related to Rhizobiuminoculation is discussed.


Key words: Biological control, Rhizobium strains, Orobanche foetida, chickpea, necrotic symptoms.