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Biography

Rokolhuii Keditsu, basically a Floriculturist has been working on substrate development and field evaluation, post–harvest physiology of cut flowers, exploiting meteorological conditions through adjustment in planting time, evaluation of flower germplasm diversity under protected conditions; landscaping through floriculture covering a large number flowers over the last 12 years. She is the recipient of Mahatma Phule Award for excellence, member of editorial board of 7 internationally known journals, and authored the book on Gerbera Nutrition by Lambert Publishing House, Germany. She is credited with many peer reviewed research papers and guided 16 M.Sc students.

Abstract

Emerging energy crisis coupled with hike in fertilizer prices has further warranted towards finding alternatives to improve quality production of Gerbera (Gerbera jamesonii Bolus ex. Hook) by exploiting the rhizosphere microbial dynamics. The optimum agropedological criteria were suggested as: nutrient regime (122.1-152.6 KMnO4-N, 6.1-7.2 Bray-P and 97.6-114.3 NH4OAc-K mg/kg) and climatic features (182.3-201.0 g/kg soil moisture, rain fall 96.2-223.5 mm/month, 5-8-6.80C hrs diurnal variation) in order to exploit upon the correct time of planting and harvesting maximum flowers yield of Gerbera grown on Alfisol under open field conditions. Treatments comprising different combinations of organic manures and inorganic fertilizers were tested. Treatment T1 utilising inorganic fertilizers maintained a significantly lower population of fungal count (15 x 103 cfu/g soil) and bacterial count (46 x 104 cfu/g soil). Such responses on soil microbial dynamics influenced the available pool of nutrients within the rhizosphere. Treatment T4 (50% inorganic + 25% Pig manure + 25% Farmyard manure) registered all the three nutrients in highest concentration (2.6% N, 0.26% P and 2.5% K), significantly superior to rest of the treatments. A greater magnitude of response was observed with treatment T4 (238-256 flower/m2) by replacing 50% RDF with either Pig manure as T2 (238 flowers/m2) or Farmyard manure as T3 (225 flowers/m2). The results have further established the differential changes in soil carbon pool with manures in triggering simultaneous microbial species redistribution within the rhizosphere.