Enset (Ensete ventricosum) production and productivity is threatened by many biotic and abiotic factors among which bacterial wilt of enset (BWE), caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum is one of the major factors. There were no reports on the intensity and distribution of bacterial wilt of enset in South Nation Nationalities and Peoples’ Regional State (SNNPRS). Hence, the objective of this study was to determine the distribution and incidence of bacterial wilt of enset in relation to age, altitude and clonal variation in major enset growing districts of South Nation Nationalities and Peoples’ Regional State (SNNPRS). Three major enset growing Zones namely Gurage, Hadiya and Sidama were included in the survey. In each Zone, three Districts were selected based on enset production status and altitudinal variation. The disease was detected in all agro ecologies and districts, but in varying extent. Bacterial wilt prevalence and incidence was highest in Hadiya and estimated at 42.22 and 5.56%, respectively, while both disease prevalence and incidence were the lowest (26.67 and 2.86%, respectively) in Sidama. At District level wilt prevalence varied from 6.67% at Aletachiko District to 76.67% at Lemo District. Bacterial wilt incidence also ranged from 0.74% at Aletachiko District to 10.31% at Lemo District. Wilt prevalence and incidence were at the highest (50% and 5.81%, respectively) in the altitude range of 2000-2500 masl. The disease varied according to the crop growth stage, with severe (4.75%) in Cycle 4 (an age greater than 4) and less severe (0.2%) at Cycle 1 (age of less than one year). Highest disease incidence and prevalence (30 and 6.65%) were noted with a plant age of 4-5 years. The disease was highly associated with administrative Zone, District, altitude, number of clones and spacing in a logistic regression model.
Key words: Bacterial wilt of enset, wilt incidence, wilt prevalence, South Nation Nationalities and Peoples’ Regional State (SNNPRS), enset clones
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