Evaluation of phosphorus (P) efficient chickpea cultivars with and withoutRhizobium inoculation will provide considerable genetic resources for sustaining the yields and quality with reduced P application under the P deficient conditions on agricultural fields. For this aim, a pot experiment was conducted using a Calcareous Usthochrepts soil. Twenty different chickpea cultivars (Cicer arietinumL.) with and without bacterium (Rhizobium ciceri) inoculated were used for this study. Phosphorus fertilizer as H3PO3 at the levels of 0 and 80 mg P kg-1 was applied to the pots. Nitrogenous fertilizer at the level of 60 mg N kg-1 as ammonium nitrate was applied to all pots for normal growth. After harvesting of chickpeas, total P concentrations in the plants were determined. As a result of the study, rhizobiuminoculation and phosphorus application in combination increased growth rate and P utilization of chickpea cultivars as compared to the control. Whereas, significant variability among the chickpea cultivars for P utilization characters have also been observed depending on P treatment and rhizobium inoculation. Efficiency Index (EI) parameters were used to select chickpea cultivars with bacterium (R. ciceri)improved P utilization characters. This method provided characterization of cultivars as ER: efficient-responsive, ENR: efficient non-responsive, IR: inefficient responsive and INR: inefficient non-responsive. Based on this classification, chickpea cultivars of AydÄ±n, Akçin-91, ILC-482 were called as ENR under non-inoculated conditions, however chickpea cultivars of Küsmen-99, Er-97, Diyar-95, AydÄ±n, Akçin-91 were called as ENR under the rhizobial inoculated conditions. It has been established from the results that P treatments with and without rhizobiuminoculation greatly affected the P Efficiency Index (EI) and P utilization performance of chickpea cultivars.
Key words: Chickpea cultivars, phosphorus, Rhizobium, inoculation.
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