Inoculation potential of soil-borne Frankia on red alder (Alnus rubra Bong.) Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/8c97kt92j

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  • Inoculation trials were set up in fumigated nursery beds for red alder (Alnus rubra Bong.) seedling production. Frankia inoculum was applied in eight treatments: control, nodule suspension, and three levels of cell suspension (strain ArI5) applied with and without a peat carrier. Seedlings were evaluated at midseason and lifting. The peat inoculum treatment produced larger seedlings than the other treatments, both at mid-season and at lifting. The other treatments had little effect on growth. Size differences paralleled differences in degree of nodulation. Differences in percentage of seedlings nodulated were most pronounced at midseason, indicating that the inoculation conferred primarily an early-season advantage. In a second nursery experiment, Frankia inoculum was applied in a peat mix carrier, in four treatments: uninoculated control, strain ArI5, strain AvcI1, and combined dual-inoculum. Seedlings were evaluated at midseason and at lifting. Frankia DNA from nodules was analyzed by DNA fingerprinting. The controls were poorly nodulated and grew slowly. The single strain inoculum for ArI5 produced larger seedlings than for AvcI1, both at mid-season and at lifting. The dual-inoculum treatment produced larger seedlings than all other treatments. The AvcI1 single-inoculum nodules primarily produced fingerprints identical to AvcI1, but nodule fingerprints from all other treatments were dominated by ArI5 patterns. In a field experiment, nodulation capacity was determined for soils from red alder stands in the Oregon coast range covering a wide span of ages. Total nitrogen, total carbon, nitrate, ammonium and pH were measured on the same soil samples. Soil pH was most highly correlated with nodulation potential, with nitrate content also significant. Cluster analysis of the sites using these two variables produced two groups with distinctly different nodulation capacities. The higher capacity cluster was lower in nitrate and higher in pH than the majority of sites in the lower capacity cluster. There was general overlap in the age ranges for the two groups but the lower capacity cluster contained the oldest sites.
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