Integration of Commercial Microbiological Products into Soil Fertility Practices as a Potential Option for Acclimatization and Growth of TC Banana in Kenya
Open Journal of Soil Science
Tissue culture (TC) banana plantlets at the in vitro stage are delicate and devoid of microbes and nutrients that are essential for establishment and subsequent growth. Some microbes are known for function best under certain soil threshold levels of macro and micronutrients and have been associated with growth and performance of TC banana. A green house and field study was conducted to evaluate the effect of combining two commercial biological products [Rhizatech and ECO-T (mycorrhiza and
... derma based products, respectively)] with various sources of nitrogen and phosphorous including Mavuno, Minjingu phosphate rock, Calcium Ammonium Nitrate (CAN), manure and diammonium phosphate (DAP) on growth and performance of TC banana in Vertisol and Rhodic Ferralsol soil conditions. Tissue culture plants were initially inoculated with Rhizatech and ECO-T at the acclimatization stage and subsequently at the beginning of the potting stage and field establishment. Addition of nutrient sources was also done at the same stages of plant growth by mixing with the soil substrates prior to planting. The performance of plants was significantly (at p ≤ 0.05) affected by the combinations of nutrient sources depending on the soil type and stage of plant development. The growth of plants in the Vertisol increased with Trichoderma combined with either organic manure, DAP or combined with a macro and micro nutrient source (Mavuno) as compared to the sole application of Trichoderma. Performance of plants treated with combination of mycorrhiza and either Mavuno and minjigu rock phosphate was con-A. M. sistently higher in the Rhodic Ferralsol than either mycorrhiza alone or fertilizer alone. This indicates that TC plants could highly benefit from combined application of microbiological products and inorganic and organic fertilizers. However, a prior knowledge of the product's microbial formulation and prevailing soil conditions is essential for optimizing the potential benefits of integrating microbe-based product with inorganic and organic fertilizers.