A laboratory study was conducted at the Department of Crop Protection, University of Maiduguri, Nigeria to assess the incidence of seed-borne fungi and their effects on seed germination of Masakwa sorghum (Sorghum bicolor). Three varieties (Bulwana, Adjaama and Buruu) used were collected from different locations namely Bama, Dikwa and Konduga of Borno State, Nigeria. About 34.9% of the seeds were infected by different species of fungi obtained from the varieties selected from the locations. Eight different fungi identified were Aspergillus candidus, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus ustus, Fusarium verticilloides, Rhizopus oligosporus, Scopulariopsis brevicaulis, and Syncephalastrum racemosum. The most predominant fungi were A. niger (25.1%), R. Oligosporus (18.3%), A. flavus (14.7%), A. ustus (10.9%) and S. Brevicaulis (10.2%). Germination and seed-borne fungal infections varied significantly (P≤0.05) with varieties and locations of seed collection. Percent germination ranged between 4.8 and 96.2%. The highest seed-borne fungal infection (54.4%) was observed on seeds of variety Adjaama collected from Konduga and lowest infection (16.6%) on variety Bulwalana from Dikwa. Generally, fungal infection had played a significant role in the reduction of percentage germination of Masakwa sorghum in all the varieties. Hence, it becomes necessary for the seeds to be treated before planting to eradicate these seed-borne pathogens because of their inherent danger.
Key words: Masakwa, sorghum, mycoflora, seed-borne, fungal frequency.