African Journal of
Plant Science

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Plant Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0824
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPS
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 701

Full Length Research Paper

The effects of gypsum on pod-yield and pre-harvest aflatoxin contamination in selected peanut cultivars of Zambia

Hendrix Muma Chalwe
  • Hendrix Muma Chalwe
  • Department of Soil Science, University of Zambia, P. O. Box 32379, Lusaka, Zambia.
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Obed Isaac Lungu
  • Obed Isaac Lungu
  • Department of Soil Science, University of Zambia, P. O. Box 32379, Lusaka, Zambia.
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Alice Mutiti Mweetwa
  • Alice Mutiti Mweetwa
  • Department of Soil Science, University of Zambia, P. O. Box 32379, Lusaka, Zambia.
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Elijah Phiri
  • Elijah Phiri
  • Department of Soil Science, University of Zambia, P. O. Box 32379, Lusaka, Zambia.
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Jones Yengwe
  • Jones Yengwe
  • Department of Soil Science, University of Zambia, P. O. Box 32379, Lusaka, Zambia.
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Samuel Christopher Njoroge
  • Samuel Christopher Njoroge
  • Chitedze Agricultural Research Station, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), P. O. Box 1096, Lilongwe, Malawi.
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Rick Brandenburg
  • Rick Brandenburg
  • Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Box 7613, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.unitye
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  •  Received: 24 March 2019
  •  Accepted: 20 September 2019
  •  Published: 31 March 2020

Abstract

Good agricultural practices are an effective means of minimizing pre-harvest aflatoxin contamination in peanuts. A field experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of gypsum on pod yield and aflatoxin contamination in three peanut cultivars (Kadononga, MGV 4 and MGV 5) in Zambia. The experiment was conducted in Chongwe and Lusaka districts. Gypsum (15.6 % calcium) was applied at rates of 0 and 400 kg/ha at flowering stage. Although gypsum had no significant effect on aflatoxin contamination, there were significant differences (p = 0.009) in cultivar susceptibility to aflatoxin contamination. The cultivar with the smallest kernels had 18.8% lower aflatoxin content than the large-kernelled cultivar. Additionally, gypsum did not have a clear effect on pod yield. For instance, gypsum was associated with 44.8% more grain-filled pods in Kadononga (p = 0.005) at the site in Lusaka, but this result did not apply to the other two cultivars. At the site in Chongwe, gypsum was associated with 34.6% higher pod yield of MGV 5 only (p = 0.006). These results further suggest that plant factors such as kernel size may have an influence on natural resistance to aflatoxin contamination in peanuts.

 

Key words: Aflatoxin, gypsum, peanut cultivar, pod-yield, Zambia.