Effects of Indigenous and Commercial Rhizobia on Growth and Nodulation of Soybean (Glycine max L) under Greenhouse Condition

Mulugeta Desta1, Ayele Akuma2, Metadel Minay3, Zekeria Yusuf1, *, Kassa Baye1
1 School of Biological Sciences & Biotechnology, Haramaya University, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia
2 College of Agriculture &Environmental Sciences, School of Natural Resources, Haramaya University, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia
3 Southern Agricultural Research Institute, Arba Minch Agricultural Research Center, Arba Minch, Ethiopia

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© 2023 Desta et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Biological Sciences & Biotechnology, Haramaya University, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia; E-mail:



Soybean (Glycine max L.) is the most vital grain legume crop rich in protein and oil. The inoculation of rhizobia with soybean plays a very important role in increasing soil fertility via its contribution to biological nitrogen fixation.


This study focuses on the evaluation of indigenous and commercial rhizobia on soybean nodulation and growth parameters.


Soil samples were collected from five districts for nodule trapping. The rhizobia were isolated using ‘plant induction following the standard procedures. The greenhouse experiments were arranged in a completed randomized design with three replications and two control units. The data were collected for plant height, nodule number, nodule dry weight, shoot dry weight, root length; root dry weight, total nitrogen and nitrogen-content.


The entire isolates were found gram-negative, without absorbing congo-red and did not grow on peptone glucose agar media. Slow grower isolates turned bromothymol blue with yeast extract mannitol agar medium into a moderately deep blue color but fast grower changed to yellow color. All isolates were tested on the sand induced nodule and were significantly superior to the negative control in terms of plant height, shoot dry weight, and nodule dry weight. The shoot dry weight of soybean rhizobial isolates on the sterilized sand experiment was ranging from 1.6 to 2.2g per plant and it was a highly significant correlation to the nodule number, nodule dry weight and root dry weight.


The indigenous isolates were highly competent to all commercial rhizobia. This study encourages further evaluation of the field and molecular characteristics.

Keywords: Dry weight, Indigenous isolate, Nitrogen content, Nodule number, Sandy soil, Rhizobia.