Int. J. Biosci.16(3), 649-658, March 2020
Twenty-two rhizobial isolates of Lablab purpureus grown in soils from Babati district, Manyara region, Tanzania, were characterized for their morphological, biochemical and physiological characteristics. The isolates had the characteristics of slow and fast growers. Most of them had circular form and convex elevation. All showed a positive catalase activity. There were few isolates which formed poor growth in Peptone Glucose Agar, but all isolates grew in mannitol, maltose and sucrose sugars. Mannitol was the best source of carbon, while sucrose had much of weak growth (45%) than other sugars. The growth media pH at 4.5 was intolerable to most of isolates as 23% did not grow, while 55% had weak growth. All isolates tolerated alkalinity conditions, but growth was much reduced in salts at 3% NaCl (w/v). The optimum temperature for most isolates was 30˚C, while at 45˚C some few isolates managed to grow. The isolates BR3, BR18 and BR20 tolerated a wide range of environment ranging from acidic, saline and high temperature and hence were considered as stress tolerant. The dendrogram of observed characteristics formed two groups and had seven clusters at 70% similarity level. Five isolates did not form a cluster. Therefore, this preliminary study has identified lablab strains in Tanzania, which can further be characterized for their symbiotic performance and hence for bioprospecting for improved nitrogen fixation in Lablab purpureus.
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