Potentially beneficial rhizobacteria associated with banana plants in Juja Kenya
Banana being the world’s third most important starchy food and widely grown in developing countries requires large amounts of nitrogen fertilizers for commercial cultivation which are costly and hazardous to the environment when used in excess. Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria are bacteria found in the rhizosphere in association with roots and can enhance the growth of the plant. We isolated and identified the rhizobacteria associated with bananas (Musa spp.) from rhizosphere soil samples collected from seven banana farms in Juja, Kenya and evaluated their potential as biofertilizers. We obtained 20 bacterial isolates and 19 had the potential to fix nitrogen as observed from acetylene reduction assay while 18 had phosphate solubilisation activities. Phylogenetic analysis clustered the isolates into three phyla represented by six different genera: Pseudomonas, Bacillus, Staphylobacterium, Chryseobacterium, Streptomyces and Paenibacillus spp. This work has shown that banana rhizospheric bacterial isolates harbor plant growth promoting traits that can be utilized as biofertilizers in agriculture to promote the growth as well as production of bananas.
Onchwari Ruth Gechemba, Mugweru Julius, Huxley Mae Makonde, Nancy L M Bubambula, Viviene N Matiru