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International Journal of Agronomy
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 761391, 8 pages
Research Article

Effects of Cropping System and Cowpea Variety on Symbiotic Potential and Yields of Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp) and Pearl Millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.) in the Sudano-Sahelian Zone of Mali

1Institut d’Economie Rurale, P.O. Box 258, Rue Mohamed V, Bamako, Mali
2UR040, Institut de Recherche Pour le Développement, Laboratoire Commun de Microbiologie IRD/ISRA/UCAD, Centre de Recherche de Bel-Air, Route des Hydrocarbures, P.O. Box 18524, Dakar, Senegal
3Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Universite des Sciences Techniques et Technologies de Bamako, P.O. Box 3206, Bamako, Mali
4Irstea, UR MALY, 69336 Lyon, France

Received 26 April 2012; Revised 18 June 2012; Accepted 2 July 2012

Academic Editor: Robert J. Kremer

Copyright © 2012 Zoumana Kouyaté et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Many cowpea varieties (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp) have been proposed by research in Mali. None of these varieties were investigated for their symbiotic potential in terms of root nodulation and mycorrhizal infection. An experiment was conducted at Cinzana Research Station, from 2007 to 2009 with an objective to identify a cowpea variety with high symbiotic potential which may improve millet/cowpea cropping global production. Randomized complete block (RCBD) design with a factorial combination of 3 cowpea varieties (IT89KD-374, CZ1-94-23-1, and CZ11-94-5C) and 2 cropping systems (millet/cowpea intercropping and cowpea-millet rotation) was used. On farm test was conducted to evaluate CZ11-94-5C and IT89KD-374 nodulation performance. Cowpea variety CZ11-94-5-C had the highest nodule number and nodule weight. Millet/cowpea alternate rows intercropping (1/1), only, had a significant influence on cowpea root infection rates by mycorrhizae, on the 45th day after emergence. IT89KD-374 gave the best cowpea grain yield (1540 kg ha−1) in sole crop. The highest millet grain yield (1650 kg ha−1) was obtained under CZ11-94-5C-millet rotation. Farmers' fields assessments results confirmed CZ11-94-5C performance on research station. The CZ11-94-5C cowpea variety needs to be more characterized.