Faba bean (Vicia faba L.) is one of the most widely cultivated leguminous crops grown in the Highlands of Ethiopian. This study was aimed at evaluating the effect of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv.viciae isolates from other cross-inoculation hosts from field pea, grass pea, and lentil on faba bean varieties. Thus, 12 isolates were selected from faba bean, field pea, grass pea and lentil using host trap method on soil samples that was collected from North Shoa. All isolates were tolerated to pH (5 to 9), salt concentration (1 to 2%), and at a temperature of (15 to 35°C). Cross-inoculation experiments were conducted in the greenhouse to test the effects of R. leguminosarum isolates from faba bean, field pea, grass pea and lentil hosts on Hachallu and Wolki varieties of faba bean. The mean nodule number, nodule dry weight and mean shoot dry weight of the inoculated plants showed variations among the different cross inoculants (p<0.01). Symbiotic effectiveness varied from a minimum of 64% on Hachallu variety inoculated by isolate AUFBR5 (faba bean) and 52% on Wolki variety by isolate AUFPR1 (field pea) association to a maximum of 98% in Hachallu variety inoculated with isolate AUGPR13 (grass pea), and 117% in Wolki variety inoculated with isolate AUFBR5 (faba bean). The study showed physiological and symbiotic diversity of R. leguminosarum isolates of faba bean, field pea, grass pea and lentil. The effective isolates that have been tested with Hachallu and Wolki varities at green house level should be re-tested under field conditions to ascertain their performance in vivo.
Key words: Field pea, grass pea, lentil, symbiotic effectiveness.
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