EFFECT OF MICROBIAL INOCULATION ON QUALITY SEEDLING PRODUCTION OF <em>CASUARINA</em> <em>EQUISETIFOLIA</em>
Keywords:C. equisetifolia, nursery, biofertilisers, Azospirillum, phosphobacterium, VAM fungus, Frankia
Pot culture experiments were conducted to select suitable microbial combinations to improve quality seedling production of Casuarina equisetifolia. Seedlings of 5 cm length were transplanted to polythene bags with a potting mixture of unsterilised substrate and inoculated individually and in combinations with Azospirillum, phosphobacterium, a VAM fungus and Frankia. Control plants were not inoculated. Root length, shoot length and basal diameter were recorded at bimonthly intervals up to six months. Root and shoot weight, nodule number and nodule weight were recorded after six
months. Soil samples and root bits were also taken for enumeration of microbial population. Results show that the total seedling length and biomass were significantly increased in all the treatments compared with the control plants. The inoculation of the seedlings with the combination Azospirillum + phosphobacterium + VAM + Frankia produced the maximum growth, biomass and quality.