Rice production in Ghana has become unsustainable due to the extremely nutrient-poor soils. It is caused by inadequate soil fertility management, including the inefficient application of fertilizers. A practical solution could be the biofertilizers, Azospirillum sp. B510. We performed field trials in Ghana and Japan to compare the effects of B510 colonization on selected Ghanaian rice varieties grown. The B510 inoculation significantly enhanced the rice cultivars' growth and yield. The phenotypic characteristics observed in rice varieties Exbaika, Ex-Boako, AgraRice, and Amankwatia were mainly short length and high tillering capacity. These features are attributed to the host plant (cv. Nipponbare), from which the strain B510 was isolated. Furthermore, Azospirillum species has been identified as the dominant colonizing bacterium of rice rhizosphere across a diverse range of agroecologies in all major rice-growing regions in Ghana. Our results suggest that the utilization of B510 as a bio-fertilizer presents a promising way to improve rice growth, enhance soil fertility, and sustain rice productivity in Ghana.
Keywords: bio-fertilizer; endophyte; microbial interaction; plant growth promoting rhizobacteria; rice cultivars.