Enhancing Gains From Beneficial Rhizomicrobial Symbiotic Communities in Smallholder Cropping Systems

Nhamo Nhamo, George Mahuku, David Chikoye, John O. Omondi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Studies on the microbial symbionts and the resultant influence on crop growth and protection have yielded a number of technical interventions. To date, inoculants made up of different microsymbionts are widely utilized for production of legumes and cereal crops. Key among these is the Rhizobia spp. targeted for legumes, arbuscular mycorrhizae of Glomus, Ascomycota, and Basidiomycota spp., which can infect a range of crops and trees and atoxigenic Aspergillus flavus fungi for managing aflatoxin in maize and groundnuts. This chapter discusses the importance of rhizobia, mycorrhizae, and atoxigenic fungi in enhancing crop yield and food safety.A significant number of investments in inoculant production for biofertilizer and biosafety organisms have increased in the past 10. years. There prospects are bright, given the widespread use of inoculants on legumes to increase nitrogen fixation and the efficient use of fertilizers; growing mycorrhizae for nutrient and water acquisition and pest and disease protection in roots and aflatoxigenic fungi to reduce maize and groundnut contamination has increased the importance of starch (maize products) and protein (groundnut and other legumes) in human diets. Legumes also contribute directly to the nitrogen budget and cycle of mixed cropping systems on smallholder farms. Efficient and combined use of microbial symbionts in biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) and mycorrhiza technologies can contribute to reduced greenhouse gas emission from farmlands, an important step in mitigating climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSmart Technologies for Sustainable Smallholder Agriculture
Subtitle of host publicationUpscaling in Developing Countries
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9780128105221
ISBN (Print)9780128105214
StatePublished - 10 Apr 2017


  • Aflatoxin
  • Africa
  • Biological nitrogen fixation
  • Co-inoculation
  • Competitive exclusion
  • Nitrogen budgets
  • Rhizobiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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