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ABSTRACT

 

Mucuna flagellipes (Vogel ex Hook) belongs to the family Fabaceae and sub family Papilionoideae.  It is a climbing perennial herb with compound  trifoliate leaves and is variously called “ukpo” in  Igbo, “Karangiwa” in Hausas,” agbarin” in Yoruba and “Ibaba” in  EfikMucuna flagellipes is one of the lesser known neglected indigenous legumes but has high economic importance in both pharmaceutical, cosmetics and domestic uses.  Studies were conducted on effects of plant population, nitrogen rates, Mycorrhiza and Rhizobium inoculants and okra intercrop on growth and yield of Mucuna flagellipes in 2008 and 2009 cropping seasons in the laboratory, greenhouse and in the field at the Teaching and Research Farm of the Department of Agronomy, Cross River University of Technology, Obubra campus (latitude 050 59 and longitude 080 15), Cross River State. Experiment 1 was a 4 x 4 factorial laid out in a randomized complete block design with 4 plant populations  of  8,333, 10,000, 16,666 and 33,333   plants/ha, and nitrogen application at 0, 20, 40  and 80 kg N/ha  replicated three times. Experiment 2 was on effects of okra plant population and intercropping arrangement with Mucuna flagellipes on their growth and yield. The experiment was a randomised complete block design with three replications. There were ten treatments of three sole okra plant populations of 27,777, 55,555, 111,111 plants/ha and sole Mucuna flagellipes 14,286 plant/ha at 1.0×0.7m spacing. The three okra plant populations were intercropped within and between Mucuna flagellipes rows.  Experiment 3 involved responses of Mucuna flagellipes to Rhizobium and Mycorrhiza inoculations in the greenhouse. The design was a 4×3 factorial of four strains of Rhizobium inoculants (CB 756, CB 188, IAC 636 and control) and three strains of Mycorrhiza (Glomus intraradiaces GIM 49, GIM 301 and control) which were laid out in a completely randomised design (CRD). The fourth experiment was a repetition of experiment 3 but was carried out in the field. The use of nitrogen fertilizer at 80 kg N/ha significantly produced higher number of leaves and branches per plant, and gave the longest vine than other nitrogen rates. The highest number of leaves (146.7 and 157.1) and branches (16.1 and 17.2) per plant were obtained in the plots that received 80 kg N/ha in 2008 and 2009 cropping seasons respectively.  Application of 20-40 kg N/ha promoted earlier nodulation and  higher  nodule dry weight per plant, and reduced  days to first and 50% anthesis as compared  to the other rates.  The highest   seed yields of 4.27 and 4.45 t/ha were obtained in plots of 33,333 plants /ha which received 40 kg N/ha in 2008 and 2009 seasons.  Intercropping okra with Mucuna flagellipes was beneficial and produced yield advantages. All cases of okra and Mucuna flagellipes intercrops significantly gave land equivalent ratios (LER) greater than one (1.35-1.38) in both 2008 and 2009 seasons. The two Mycorrhiza strains, Glomus intraradiace (GIM49 and GIM301) produced higher vegetative growth (leaf, vine, nodules dry weight) per plant in the inoculated than in non inoculated plants.  Rhizobium inoculation enhanced nodule growth rate, plant dry matter and seed yield per plants than other treatments. All cases of combined inoculation of Rhizobium and Mycorrhizal inoculants produced significantly greater biomass, nodule dry weight than where either Rhizobium or Mycorrhizal was inoculated alone. The highest seed yield of 3.48 and 3.51 t/ha were obtained in plots treated with combined inoculation of IAC636 Rhizobium and GIM301 Mycorrihzal strain  in the field  during  2008 and 2009 seasons, respectively. Application of 40 kg N/ha stimulated early growth of Mucuna flagellipes. Inoculation of Mucuna flagellipes with either Rhizobium or with Mycorrhiza or a combination of the two produced enhanced Mucuna flagellipes growth and seed yield and served as biofertilizer and good alternative to chemical nitrogen fertilizer.

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title  Page      –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           i

Certification –           –           –           –           –           –           —         –           –           –           ii

Dedication –   –          –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           iii

Acknowledgment-    –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           iv

Tables of Content-   –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           vi

List of Tables-          –           –           –           –           —         –           –           –           –           xiii

Abstract-        –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           xxi

Introduction –            –           –           –           —         –           –           –           –           –                       1 Objectives of the Study       –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           2

Literature Review-   –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           3

Mucuna flagellipes (Vogel ex Hook)        –           –           –           –           –                       3

Biological Nitrogen Fixation          –           –           –           –           –           –           –           5

Azolla /Anabaena Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation –           –           –           –                       5

Rhizobium bacteria and biological nitrogen fixation-    –           –           –                       6

Effects of microbial inoculation on the growth and yield of legumes-           –                       8

Effects of nitrogen fertilizer on nodulation in legumes-           –        –             –                       9

Mycorrhiza and biological nitrogen fixation –    –           –           –           –           –           10

Okra (Abelmoschus esulentus L. Moench)-         –           –           –           –                       11

Effects of plant population on okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L. Moench)

production –  –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           12

Effects of planting pattern (inter and intra row arrangement) on  growth

and yield of crops-   –                       –           –           –           –           –                       –           14

Effects of intercropping on the growth and yield of crops        –          –           –           14

Effects of inter cropping on the growth and yield of (okra  Abelmoschus

 esulentus L. Moench)                     —         –           –           –           –           –                       17

Okra (Abelmoschus esulentus L. Moench) / Mucuna  flagellipes intercropping –    18

Land equivalent ratio (LER)-         –           –           –           –           –           –                       20

Crop performance assessment in intercropping –           —         –           –           –                       21

 

MATERIALS  AND METHODS

Experimental site     –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           23

Materials-      –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           23    Experiment  I:   Effect of  plant population  and  nitrogen  rates on the growth

and yield of Mucuna flagellipes. –            –           –        –                         –           –           –          24

Land preparation –   –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           24

Experimental design of experiment 1:   – –  –  –  – – –    –           –           –           –           24

Description of treatments , –                 –  –    –     –     –       –           –         –            –           25

Planting          –                       –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           26

Fertilizer application     – – —    –    –    –    –            –           –           –           –           –           26

Cultural practices-   –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           26

Data collection – –   –    –    –    –    –     –    –    –      –                         –           –           –           26

Harvesting   –   –   –    –    –     –     –     –      –    –        –           –           –           –           –           28

Procedures for soil analysis           –           –              –    –  –           –           –           –           –           28

Statistical analysis-  –           –           –           —         –           –           –           –           –           32

Linear model   used for experiment 1 –    –  –  –   –  – –    –           –           –           –           32

Experiment 2:     

Effect of okra plant population and intercropping arrangement

with Mucuna flagellipes on  their growth and yield   –   –   –     –           –           –           33

Description of treatments   –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           33

Land preparation and layout of plots       –           –           –           –           –           –           34

Planting  –      –           –           –           –           —         –           –                       —         –           34

Data  collection-             –    –       –      –                     –                     –           –           –           34

Land equivalent ratio (LER)     –         –      –      –        –        –                   –           –           35

Cultural practices-   –           –           –           –                       –           –           –           –           36

Statistical analysis-  –           –           –             –   –   –           –           –           –           –           36

Linear model used for experiment 2          –   –   –                        –           –           –           –           37

 

Experiment 3: Responses of Mucuna flagellipes to Rhizobium and

Mycorrhiza inoculation under greenhouse condition –  –         –         –           –           37                                                                 

Location        –           –                       –           –           –           –           –           –           –           37                                                                                                                                                                    Experimental Design           –           –           –           –           –           —         –           –           37

Description of the twelve treatments combinations  –   —         –           –           –         38

Preparation of Mucuna flagellipes seedlings for inoculation   –           –           –           39

Preparation of planting   medium  –     –      –     –            –                         –           –           39

Preparation of Rhizobium inoculants for inoculation of Mucuna / flagellipes

seedlings       –     –             –     –     –           –        –   –           –           –           –           39

Preparation of Mycorrhiza inoculants for  inoculation of  Mucuna flagellipes

seedlings       –           –           –           –           –                     –           –  –    –        –    –           40

Inoculation of Mucuna flagellipes seedlings with Mycorrhiza inoculants    –           40

Data collection         –         –      –        –      –       –       –                   –      –               –           41

Statistical  analysis  –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           41

Linear model-         –  –    –   –   –   – –            –           –           –           –           –           –           41

Experiment 4: Responses of Mucuna flagellipes  to  Rhizobium and                                   

Mycorrhizal inoculation in the field culture –     –                       –                       –          42                                                            

Experimental design –   –               –      –         –           –    –            –                                   42

Land preparation      –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           42

Cultural  practices-  –       –       –         –         –           –       –       –   —         –           42

Linear model-            –    –       –            –   –  –           –           –           –           –           42

Repeat of the studies –         –           –           –     –    –      –     –     –     –    –              43

 

RESULTS                                                                                 

Experiment 1: Effect of  plant population and nitrogen  rates on the growth

and yield of Mucuna flagellipes.- –           –           –                      –           –           –           44

Effect of  plant population  and  nitrogen  on yield and yield components  in

Mucuna flagellipes.–                       –           –           –           —                     –           –           –           85

Experiment  2:          Effects of okra plant population and  intercropping

arrangement with Mucuna flagellipes on their growth and yields.      –                –      86

Leaf area per plant and leaf area index as influenced by okra population

intercropped Mucuna flagellipes– –           –                       –           –           –           –           91      

Yield and yield component as influenced by okra population  intercropped

Mucuna flagellipes .   –       –           –           –           –           —         –           –             –       99

Land equavalent ratio  (LER)-       –           –           –           –           –           –                     100

Experiment 3:  Responses of Mucuna  flagellipes to Rhizobium and

Mycorrhiza  inoculation under greenhouse conditions.-                      –           –                    105

Mucuna flagallgus vegetative growth as influence dby Rhizobium

and Mycorrhiza inoculation under greenhouse conditions      —         –                    105

 

Effects of Rhizobium and Mycorrhiza inoculation on dry matter weight

of Mucuna  flagellipes in  the greenhouse.  –      –           –           –                                106

Effect of Rhizobiun and Mycorrhiza inoculation on Mucuna flagellipies

plant vine length, diameter and growth rate under  greenhouse

condition.                  –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –         113

Effect of Rhizobiun and Mycorrhiza inoculation on nodule production in

Mucuna  flagellipes in the greenhouse. – –           –             –         –                                 127

Effects of Rhizobium and Mycorrhiza inoculation on yield and yield

component of Mucuna flagellipes in  the greenhouse.  –           –                       –                    140

Experiment   4: Responses of  Mucuna flagellipes to Rhizobium  and

Mycorrhiza inoculations under field culture. —             –           –           –           –         142

 

Effect of Rhizobium and Mycorrhiza inoculation on vegetative growth of

Mucuna flagellipes in the field culture    –           –           –           –           –           –         142

Effects of Rhizobium and Mycorrhiza inoculation on nodule production in

Mucuna flagellipes  under the field culture.       –           –                                   –         156

Effects of Rhizobium and Mycorrhiza inoculation on yield and yield

component of  Mucuna flagellipes  in  the field culture.  –                               –         165

 

Discussion     –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –          –         177

Experiment 1 :Effect of  plant population and nitrogen rates on the Growth

and yield of Mucuna flagellipes    –                       –                –                              –         177

Mucuna flagellipes yield and yield components as influenced  by plant

population                 –           –           –           –           –           –           –                       –         178

Experiment 2: Effects of okra population and intercropping arrangement

With Mucuna flagellipes on their growth and yield                                        –         181

Intercropping studies in Mucuna flagellipes       –           –                                   181

Land equivalent ratio (LER)          –           –           –           –           –                       183 Experiment  3: Responses of Mucuna flagellipes to Rhizobium  and

Mycorrhiza  inoculation under greenhouse condition   –           –       –              184

Experiment  4: Responses of Mucuna flagellipes to Rhizobium and

Mycorrhiza inoculation in the field  culture       –                                               187

Summary-      –           –           –           –           –           –           –                                   189

Conclusion – –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –                       190

References   –    –     –        –             –        –          –         –          –                             191

Appendix   –            –      –             –            –          –       –           –                             203

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Mucuna flagellipes (Vogel ex Hook) belongs to the family Fabaceae, sub family papilionoideae (Polhill and Raven, 1981).  It has been described as a climbing perennial herb with compound trifoliate leaves. It is indigenous to Nigeria (Anonymous, 1979).  Mucuna flagellipes is one of the lesser known legumes but has high nutritional value. The seed is rich in edible oils, fats and mineral (Odedele, 1983). It is widely consumed among the Igbo-speaking people in soup where it perform the basic function of soup thickener (Oyenuga, 1986; Okigbo, 1980; and Agba, 2001).

 

Both the seed and leaf of Mucuna flagellipes have high economic value in pharmaceutical industry and other domestic uses. In pharmaceutical industry, the gum produced from the seed could be used as a binder in the formulation of epherdrine hydrochloride tablet (Chukwu, 1986; Eyiuche, 1989; and Okoro, 1989).  The leaves are used to formulate local hair dye (Okoro, 1989). Despite the economic importance of this crop, it is grown on a sub-subsistence level mostly as a compound   crop by the Igbos of South eastern Nigeria (Okigbo, 1980; Oyenuga, 1986). There is paucity of information on the growth of the crop in commercial quantity. Generally, information on the growth and yield of Mucuna flagellipes in mixture with other crops is also lacking. There has been no report on the responses of the crop to nitrogen and plant population.

 

In agro-ecosystems, nitrogen input has become one of the main vital elements to achieve higher yield (Hardy, 1993). Nitrogen is a unique element and the most common limiting element for plant growth, biomass production and agricultural productivity, and is one of the most expensive to purchase as fertilizer (Elkany, 1992).

 

Biological nitrogen fixation in Mucuna flagellipes was considered of probable benefit for exploitation.  It was considered essential to exploit the potential of biological nitrogen fixation to reduce dependence on inorganic mineral nitrogen fertilizers.

In many developing countries, traditional agricultural systems are based on the growing of crops in mixture (Agboola, 1989). Multiple cropping is the intensification of crops in time and space by growing two or more crops simultaneously on the same piece of land in a year (Adelana, 1986). The intercropping of okra with some main crops like yams, cassava, and vegetables is a common practice by peasant farmers in south eastern Nigeria (Olasantan, 1996). Muoneke and Asiegbu  (1997) observed that one of the reasons for the low yield of okra pods in mixed okra cropping in South east Nigeria is scanty plant stands. They reported that plant population is one of the factors that determined efficient and profitable land use. The use of optimum plant population increased   total okra fresh pod yield per hectare.

 

There is scanty or no planned experiment providing literature information on the effect of intercropping okra with Mucuna flagellipesMucuna flagellipes is a legume with potential value for nitrogen fixing capacity in mixtures and needs to be investigated for its potential.

Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study being reported were:

  1. To determine the appropriate plant population for optimum growth and yield of Mucuna flagellipes.
  2. To ascertain the best combination of plant population and nitrogen rate needed to maximize yield of Mucuna flagellipes.
  3. To determine the starter does of nitrogen for nodulation, growth and yield enhancement of Mucuna flagellipes.
  4. To determine the effectiveness of three rhizobium strains and two Mycorrhiza strains on biological nitrogen fixation and yield in Mucuna flagellipes.
  5. To determine the influence on Mucuna flagellipes by varying populations of okra intercrops.

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