Exploiting Genetic Diversity for Blast Disease Resistance Sources in Finger Millet (Eleusine coracana)

Manyasa, E O and Tongoona, P and Shanahan, P and Githiri, S and Ojulong, H and Njoroge, S M C (2019) Exploiting Genetic Diversity for Blast Disease Resistance Sources in Finger Millet (Eleusine coracana). Plant Health Progress, 20 (3). pp. 180-186. ISSN 1535-1025

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Finger millet blast, caused by Magnaporthe grisea, is the most important disease of finger millet in East Africa. Diseased plants are significantly less productive, and most cultivars grown by farmers are susceptible to the disease. Fungicide application is an option for disease management; however, smallholder farmers cannot afford the cost. Host plant resistance is therefore the most viable option for managing the disease. Eighty-one finger millet germplasm accessions from East Africa were evaluated for resistance to blast disease, in natural and inoculated trials. Three accessions (G18, G43, and G67) were identified as resistant to all the three progressive stages of blast: leaf, neck, and panicle. However, one (G3) and four (G15, G16, G60, and G70) accessions were only resistant to leaf and neck blast, respectively. Two resistant (G39 and G43) and 12 moderately resistant (G3, G7, G11, G20, G23, G27, G31, G33, G36, G66, G74, and G81) accessions to blast attained grain yields >2.0 t/ha. These accessions varied in time to maturity, plant height, and grain color, which will enable farmers to select accessions appropriate to their target agro-ecological zones and desired end uses. East African finger millet germplasm has high potential as a source of blast-resistant accessions that could be evaluated for direct production and/or for blast-resistance breeding.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : East & Southern Africa
Uncontrolled Keywords: Genetic diversity, Finger millet, Blast resistance, East Africa
Subjects: Mandate crops > Millets > Finger Millet
Others > Genetics and Genomics
Others > Plant Disease
Depositing User: Mr Arun S
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2020 03:53
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2020 03:53
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/11447
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1094/PHP-11-18-0068-RS
Funders: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Acknowledgement: The authors thank Patric Sheunda, Daniel Ajaku and Joseph Kibuka for their assistance in managing field trials
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