The value of different vegetative indices (NDVI, GAI) for the assessment of yield potential of pea (Pisum sativum L.) at different growth stages and under varying management practices

Agnieszka Klimek-Kopyra, Tadeusz Zając, Andrzej Oleksy, Bogdan Kulig, Anna Ślizowska


This research evaluated the NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) and GAI (green area index) in order to indicate the productivity and developmental effects of Rhizobium inoculants and microelement foliar fertilizer on pea crops. Two inoculants, Nitragina (a commercial inoculant) and IUNG (a noncommercial inoculant gel) and a foliar fertilizer (Photrel) were studied over a 4-year period, 2009–2012. The cultivars chosen for the studies were characterized by different foliage types, namely a semileafless pea ‘Tarchalska’ and one with regular foliage, ‘Klif’. Foliar fertilizer significantly increased the length of the generative shoots and the number of fruiting nodes in comparison to the control, which in turn had a negative impact on the harvest index. Pea seed yield was highly dependent on the interaction between the years of growth and the microbial inoculant, and was greater for ‘Tarchalska’ (4.33 t ha−1). Presowing inoculation of seeds and foliar fertilization resulted in a significantly higher value of GAI at the flowering (3.91 and 3.81, respectively) and maturity stages (4.82 and 4.77, respectively), whereas the value of NDVI was higher for these treatments only at the maturity stage (0.67 and 0.79, respectively). A significantly greater yield (5.0–5.4 t ha−1) was obtained after inoculation with IUNG during the dry years.


yield components; green area index; normalized difference vegetation index; inoculation

Full Text:



Graham PH, Vance C P. Legumes: importance and constraints to greater use – update on legume utilization. Plant Physiol. 2003;131:872–877.

Iantcheva A, Mysore KS, Ratet P. Transformation of leguminous plants to study symbiotic interaction. Int J Dev Biol. 2013;57:577–586.

Zając T, Klimek-Kopyra A, Oleksy A. Effect of Rhizobium inoculation of seeds and foliar fertilization on productivity of Pisum sativum L. Acta Agrobot. 2013;66:71–78.

Cerezini P, Harumi Kuwano B, Bartosa Dos Santos M, Terassi F, Hungaria M, Nogueira MA. Strategies to promote early nodulation in soybean under drought. Field Crops Res. 2016;196:160–167.

Zlatev Z, Lidon FC. An overview on drought induced changes in plant growth, water relations and photosynthesis. Emir J Food Agric. 2012;24:57–72.

Charlton AJ, Donarski JA, Harrison M, Jones SA, Godward J, Oehlschlager S, et al. Responses of the pea (Pisum sativum L.) leaf metabolome to drought stress assessed by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Metabolomics. 2008;4:312–327.

Zhao D, Reddy KR, Kakani VG, Reddy VR. Nitrogen deficiency effects on plant growth, leaf photosynthesis, and hyperspectral reflectance properties of sorghum. Eur J Agron. 2005;22:391–403.

Carter GA, Knapp AK. Leaf optical properties in higher plants: linking spectral characteristics to stress and chlorophyll concentration. Am J Bot. 2001;88:677–684.

Hatfield JL, Gitelson AA, Schepers JS, Walthall CL. Application of spectral remote sensing for agronomic decisions. Agron J. 2008;100:117–131.

Hatfield JL, Prueger JH. Value of using different vegetative indices to quantify agricultural crop characteristics at different growth stages under varying management practices. Remote Sens. 2010;2:562–578.

Solari F, Shanahan J, Ferguson R, Schepers J, Gitelson A. Active sensor reflectance measurements of corn nitrogen status and yield potential. Agron J. 2008;100:571–579.

Kulig B, Głąb T, Oleksy A, Klimek-Kopyra A, Kołodziejczyk M, Zając T. Effect of the method of plant protection on the yield, root development and formation of vegetation indices of faba bean canopy. Bulgarian Journal of Agricultural Science. 2014;20:381–390.

Jensen JR. Remote sensing of the environment: earth resource perspective. Upper Saddle River, NJ; Prentice Hall. 2000.

Pedroni L. Improved classification of Landsat Thematic Mapper data using modified prior probabilities in large and complex landscapes. Int J Remote Sens. 2003;24:91−113.

Ali ME, Khanan D, Bhuiyan MAH, Khatun MR, Talukder MR. Effect of Rhizobium inoculation to different varieties of garden pea (Pisum sativum L.). Journal of Soil and Nature. 2008;2:30–33.

Malik MA, Cheema MA, Khan HZ, Ashfaq MW. Growth and yield response of soybean (Glycine max L.) to seed inoculation and varying phosphorus levels. J Agric Res. 2006;44:47–53.

Erman M, Demir S, Ocak E, Tufenkci S, Oguz F, Akkopru A. Effects of Rhizobium, arbuscular mycorrhiza and whey applications on some properties in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) under irrigated and rainfed conditions 1 – yield, yield components, nodulation and AMF colonization. Field Crops Res. 2011;122:14–24.

Sulieman S, Phan Tran LS. Symbiotic nitrogen fixation in legume nodules: metabolism and regulatory mechanism. Int Mol Sci. 2014;19389–19393.

Zhukov V, Shtark O, Borisov A, Tikhonovich I. Breeding to improve symbiotic effectiveness of legumes. In: ed Andersen SB, editor. Plant breeding from laboratories to fields. Rijeka: Intech; 2013. p. 167–207.

Belachew T, Pant M. Measurement of competitive ability of Rhizobium leguminosarum in different pea genotypes under sterilized and unsterilized soil conditions. International Journal of Microbiological Research. 2010;1:87–91.

Zając T, Klimek-Kopyra A, Oleksy A, Stokłosa A, Kulig B. Morphological-developmental reaction and productivity of plants and canopy of semi-leafless pea (Pisum sativum L.) after seed vaccination with rhizobium and foliar micronutrients fertilization. Journal of Applied Botany and Food Quality. 2012;85:188–197.

Dacko M, Zając T, Synowiec A, Oleksy A, Klimek-Kopyra A, Kulig B. New approach to determine biological and environmental factors influencing mass of a single pea (Pisum sativum L.) seed in Silesia region in Poland using a CART model. Eur J Agron. 2016;74:29–37.

Prusiński J. Chosen growth and development indexes of pea under increasing intensity of cultivation technology. Acta Scientiarum Polonorum. Agricultura. 2007;6:43–51.

Albayrak S, Sevimay CS, Tongel O. Effect of inoculation with Rhizobium on seed yield and yield components of common vetch (Vicia sativa L.). Turk J Agric For. 2006;30:31–430.

Togay N, Togay Y, Yildirin B, Dogan Y. Relationships between yield and some yield components in pea (Pisum sativum ssp. arvense L.) genotypes by using correlation and path analysis. Afr J Biotechnol. 2008;7:4285–4287.