African Journal of
Plant Science

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Plant Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0824
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPS
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 757

Full Length Research Paper

Assessment of nodulation of Mucuna pruriens by promiscuous native rhizobia population, Southeast Nigeria

Olusola Abayomi Ojo-Omoniyi*
  • Olusola Abayomi Ojo-Omoniyi*
  • Department of Microbiology, Lagos State University, Badagry Expressway, P.M.B. 1087 Apapa, Lagos State, Nigeria.
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Esther Adeyinka Okubena-Dipeolu
  • Esther Adeyinka Okubena-Dipeolu
  • Department of Botany, Lagos State University, Badagry Expressway, P.M.B. 1087 Apapa, Lagos State, Nigeria.
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Olubunmi Pauline Adejoh
  • Olubunmi Pauline Adejoh
  • Department of Sustainable Forest Management, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, P.M.B. 5054 Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.
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Oluwole Akinwumi Odetunmibi
  • Oluwole Akinwumi Odetunmibi
  • CIS/Department of Mathematics, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria.
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  •  Received: 21 August 2014
  •  Accepted: 24 February 2015
  •  Published: 31 March 2015


The potency and competitive ability of indigenous rhizobia population in soil to nodulate a non-native legume host has been contentious especially in tropical Africa. This study examined the symbiotic compatibility between the indigenous rhizobia population and a non-native legume species. Soil samples were randomly collected with soil auger at 0 - 30 cm depth from agricultural fields southeast, Nigeria. The control soil samples were obtained from the Badagry beach which had no previous history of legume cultivation at the same depth. Mucuna pruriens seeds were aseptically sown in plastic pots containing these soils kept in the greenhouse for 10 weeks. The test pots were watered with sterile distilled water while the control pots received inorganic nitrogen (N)  as source of N nutrient. The agronomic features of the host legume were evaluated after 10 weeks and the presence of appropriate Rhizobium inoculant contributed positively to biomass production in M. pruriens. The Mucuna microsymbiont was found to thrive under favorable climatic and edaphic factors for effective nodulation of the host legume. The microsymbiont was identified on yeast-extract mannitol salt agar (YEMA) containing bromothymol blue (BTB) as Bradyrhizobium and Rhizobium species. This study convincingly showed the importance of rhizobia to soil fertility maintenance in sustainable agricultural practice as well as the adaptability of the legume microsymbiont to different ecological zones particularly the tropical humid environment.


Key words: Inoculation, Mucuna pruriens, nodulation, organic agriculture, Rhizobium, soil fertility.