African Journal of
Biotechnology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biotechnol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1684-5315
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJB
  • Start Year: 2002
  • Published Articles: 12337

Full Length Research Paper

Screening of maize germplasm for resistance to maize lethal necrosis disease in Zambia

Mathias Tembo
  • Mathias Tembo
  • Zambia Agriculture Research Institute, P/B 7, Chilanga, Zambia.
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Kabamba Mwansa
  • Kabamba Mwansa
  • Zambia Agriculture Research Institute, P/B 7, Chilanga, Zambia.
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Kayombo Kambukwe
  • Kayombo Kambukwe
  • Zambia Agriculture Research Institute, P/B 7, Chilanga, Zambia.
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Victoria Ndeke
  • Victoria Ndeke
  • Zambia Agriculture Research Institute, P/B 7, Chilanga, Zambia.
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Dickson Ng’uni
  • Dickson Ng’uni
  • Zambia Agriculture Research Institute, P/B 7, Chilanga, Zambia.
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Lubasi Chibwe
  • Lubasi Chibwe
  • Zambia Agriculture Research Institute, P/B 7, Chilanga, Zambia.
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Cosmos Magorokosho
  • Cosmos Magorokosho
  • International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), 12.5 km peg, New Mazowe Road, P. O. Box MP163, Mt. Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe.
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Lingadahali Mahabaleswara Suresh
  • Lingadahali Mahabaleswara Suresh
  • International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, P. O. Box 1041–00621, Nairobi, Kenya.
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  •  Received: 10 October 2020
  •  Accepted: 14 December 2020
  •  Published: 31 January 2021

Abstract

Maize is an important staple crop for humans and livestock feed in Zambia. A total of 473 maize germplasms were screened under maize lethal necrosis (MLN) artificial inoculation and disease pressure using an alpha lattice design to identify potential tolerant varieties as sources of resistance.  The analysis of variance (ANOVA) based on the MLN score range of 1-9 showed that the levels of MLN resistance in the maize germplasms were very low, with almost all the hybrids widely grown in Zambia and germplasms drawn from the genebank found to be highly susceptible. However, the pro vitamin A varieties, GV662A and IICZ3085 showed a moderate level of resistance/tolerance, with disease scores of 4.7 and 5.3, respectively. There is need to enhance development of MLN tolerant maize cultivars by the national maize breeding programme and seed companies to avert the possible calamity posed by the threat of the effects of MLN. In addition, intensive awareness creation among various stakeholders in the maize value chain, systematic monitoring and surveillance of MLN, practicing integrated disease management approaches such as avoiding maize monoculture and continuous cultivations of susceptible maize throughout the year, and practicing maize crop rotation with compatible crops especially legumes that do not serve as hosts for maize chlorotic mottle virus (MCMV)/MLN are recommended.

 

Key words: Maize lethal necrosis, screening, maize germplasm, Zambia.