Effects of Azotobacter and Azospirillum and Levels of Manure on Quantitative and Qualitative Traits of Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.)

Document Type : Scientific - Research


1 Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Zabol University, Zabol, Iran

2 Soil and Water Research Institute, Karj, Meshkin Dasht, Iran


The demand for food and agricultural products are increasing in a line of population increasing in the world (Alexandratos, 2003). It is possible to increase the quality and quantity of agricultural products via extending the farms and producing more products (Astaaraei and Koocheki, 1995). Environmental problems caused by synthetic fertilizers and the high levels of producing and introducing such chemicals, have been encouraged the researchers to apply bio-fertilizers for increasing the production in a frame of sustainable agriculture (Rajendran and Devarj, 2004). In this study, the economical yield and agronomy index of Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) in manure and bio fertilizers treatments was studied.
Materials and method
This study was conducted in Agricultural Research Institute, University of Zabol during winter season, 2013. Safflower seeds were planted in sandy loam with pH 8.2. The experimental design was factorial in a frame on randomized completely blocks with three replications. The manure as a first factor had three levels, including no treatment (control), 20 and 30 t.ha-1, while second factor was bio-fertilizer treatment with 4 levels, including no treatment (control), Azosprilium (Azo), Azotobacter (Azt) and combined treatment of Azo+Azt. The processed manure and bacteria obtained from local farmers were used in this study.
Populations of 108 bacteria were prepared and 24 hours before sowing, seeds were soaked in bacteria. After land preparation, experimental plots were (2.5 × 2 m2) created and treated seeds were planted (40 plants.m-2) manually and plantation was watered immediately.
In this study plant height, number of heads in bush, number of seeds per head, seed weight per head, seed weight, grain and biological yield, harvest index, leaf chlorophyll, protein and oil percent were studied. Economical yield and agronomy indices of Safflower were calculated at the end of the season and data were analyzed using SAS software (2000) and the mean values were separated using Duncan test (P= 5%).
Results and discussion
The results showed the maximum weight of 100- seeds were treated with the manure (30 t.ha-1). In the treated plants with 30 ton/acre of manure and Azo, the high values of some parameters such as plant height, the numbers of spikes in the plants, the number of seeds in the spike, economic, yield, biological yield, harvesting index, the amount of leaf chlorophyll and percentage of seed protein were observed. In a combined treatment of manure, Azo and Azt, the highest amount of seed oil was detected. High levels of seed treatment with Azo and Azt in short period could not provide all needs of safflower because of the slow release of nutrient. Hence, combined treatment of bio-fertilizers and manure could compensate the nutrient deficiency as well as causing soil fertility and sustainable production of crops such as safflower.
Results confirmed that seed inoculation with Azo and optimal levels of manure may increase safflower yield by increasing nutrient uptake, which improve plant growth and its developmental stages. It was also observed that the traits such as number of spikes per plant, number of seeds per spike, seed weight per spike, seed weight, economic and biologic yield and harvest index were significant.
It was concluded that the manure treatment, increasing the soil organic component, usable phosphorus, nitrate and other nutrients as well as improving soil texture, increase the quality and quantity of agricultural products. According to the results of this study, it seems that the inoculation with bacteria with optimal levels of manure by increasing nutrient uptake, which were associated, increase seed yield. In most characteristics, the use of bio-fertilizers with manure interaction for traits such as number of heads per plant, number of seeds per head, seed weight per head, seed weight, economic performance, biological yield and harvest index was significant.


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