Research Article

Effects of various metal ions on the growth of some phytopathogenic and biological control fungi

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Metal ions are among important environmental factors that influence various aspects of fungal biology and the knowledge on these effects can be applied in integrated plant disease management and mycotechnology. Therefore, in this study the fungal growth on potato dextrose agar, Czapek'sdox agar (CDA, containing FeSO4), and its derivatives made via the replacement of FeSO4 with either of CaSO4, K2SO4, MnSO4, Na2SO4, and ZnSO4 was studied under incubation conditions of 25°C and darkness. The mycelial growth of three biological control (Trichoderma hamatum, T. harzianum, and T. longibrachiatum) and three plant pathogenic (Ceratocystis radicicola, Fusarium oxysporum, and Macrophomina phaseolina) were measured 48h and 72h after inoculation. T. longibrachiatum exhibited the highest mycelial growth and PDA supported the fastest and the highest mycelial growth of most tested fungi. Interestingly, ZnSO4 led to the highest growth of all Trichoderma species, while most of the pathogenic fungi grow well on the media with K2SO4 or Na2SO4.

On-farm assessment of productivity of improved varieties of wheat

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Genetic material developed and improved are tested through a number of on-station trials, but are finally targeted for the farmers’ fields where the actual crop production takes place to feed the population of a country. Afghanistan needs to increase wheat production to support its domestic need of wheat consumption, reduce its imports and enhance the exports. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of the improved varieties of wheat in the target domain in Afghanistan. The improved varieties with a package of practice were implemented in farmers’ field through demonstration plots. A total of 223 farmers’ fields were included in the trials implemented in eight districts in East Central Zone. Across all the locations, the improved varieties showed substantial increase of yield over local variety in range of 53-86% and yield stability across the locations. Consequently, the wide use of improved varieties with package of practice can result considerable gain to farmers to harvest more yield which motivated farmer to accelerate variety replacement up 100% and other hand, this increase will positively recover farmers economic status. As whole, increase in the yield would be contributed to meet current need of the country in wheat and improve the food security.

Moringa oleifera based agroforestry system in carbon sequestration

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The agroforestry system represents a significant part of the environmental improvement in Niger. It contributes to food security and is a source of income for many households in this country. This study assessed the contribution of the agroforestry system based on Moringa oleifera Lam. to ecological resilience, particularly in terms of carbon sequestration in the urban commune of Tibiri-Gobir. There are many different cropping associations using moringa, depending on the farmer's objective. Thus, about ten moringa-based agroforestry practices have been identified in this area. In addition, this moringa-based agroforestry system contributes significantly to ecological resilience through carbon sequestration. Its growth capacity and root system now allow for the storage of a large amount of carbon in the soil and thus reduce the negative effects of climate change. In order to quantify the carbon sequestered by this system, the destructive method was applied to a sample of 30 moringa plants collected from 6 sites along the valley of Goulbi Maradi. Finally, local allometric models were developed to estimate the dry biomass of trees and their capacity to store carbon. Thus, a moringa-based agroforestry system can store up to 1.7tonne/ha of carbon in a monoculture and 0.54 tonne/ha in Mixed cropping.

Standard heterosis in quality protein maize hybrids

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Maize as the main staple food, development of maize cultivars with enhanced levels of two essential amino acids such as lysine and tryptophan are a must. Most of the improved maize varieties released so far for commercial production are poor  sources of quality protein since normal maize protein is deficient in two essential amino acids which are lysine and tryptophan. Developing quality protein maize (QPM) hybrids is therefore important to improve the human health. Determining the standard heterosis of QPM hybrids is an essential step to facilitate the development of QPM hybrids and their commercialization. This study was conducted to estimate standard heterosis of fifteen single-cross QPM hybrids. The crosses were made in a 6x6 half diallel mating design which produced fifteen F1 single crosses. These single crosses along with three standard checks were evaluated for their grain yield and other traits, using alpha lattice design with three replications. L3xL4 gave the highest standard heterosis for grain yield over the best check BH546 (13.08%) and mean of the three checks, BH546, BH547 and BHQ548 (35.26%). L3xL6 and L4xL6 had also higher magnitude of standard heterosis over the checks. Thus, these hybrids can potentially be proposed for commercialization, and the breeding values of their parents can be exploited for QPM breeding.

Upland rice variety development for Ethiopia

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Productivity of rice in Ethiopia is increasing with consistent deployment of new improved varieties into production. However, the productivity levels attained in both research managed fields as well as farmers’ fields are low compared to world average. This makes variety development critical. In an effort to develop upland rice variety, two independent pipelines were set. One was targeting the upland & high elevation environments, while the other one the typical upland. Both pipelines followed the established variety development and evaluation procedures of the research system in the country. Single site analysis was used for preliminary variety trials to promote promising genotypes to the national variety trials. Multi-environment analysis was employed to select candidate genotypes to be verified and for possible approval by the National Variety Releasing Committee (NVRC).  In both sets, promising genotypes were identified at the preliminary variety trials and promoted to national variety trials. Results of the upland national variety trial showed that two genotypes (ART16-5-9-22-2-1-1-B-1-2 and ART16-9-33-2-1-1-1-B-1-2) found promising and promoted to verification and approval. These candidates outsmarted the standard check in terms of high grain yield, earliness and larger grain size. ART16-5-9-22-2-1-1-B-1-2 has been approved and registered by the NVRC and named Azmera as vernacular name. It showed more than 10% yield advantage compared to the standard check.  Azmera is an improved variety profiled with high grain yield, earliness, larger grain size and white caryopsis. It is recommended to be produced in lower altitude and high temperature areas such Pawe, Assosa, Metema and similar agro-ecologies.

Stability analysis of lowland rice genotypes in rain-fed environments of Northwest Ethiopia

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Seventeen medium-maturing lowland rice genotypes along with a check variety were raised in a randomized complete block design of three replications and assessed for yield stability and performance under rain fed lowland conditions at Woreta, Pawe, Maitsebri, Jimma and Assosa. AMMI analysis of variance indicated that environments, genotypes and their interaction accounted for 43.06%, 12.03% and 22.04% of the total sum of squares (SS) for grain yield, respectively. The first four interaction principal component axes were significant and together explained 85.8% of interactions SS. Averaged over environments, genotype G16 had the highest yield of 6.56 t ha-1 , G2 (6.32 t ha-1), G6 (5.49 t ha-1) and G7 (5.49 t ha-). Genotypes G5, G6, G7, G14 and G16 had lower AMMI stability value and yield stability index. In AMMI 1 and AMMI 2 biplots G6, G7 and G16 were found to be high yielding and stable while G2 was less stable but high yielding. Thus, genotypes G2, G6 and G16 were considered as candidate varieties and verified, out of which G16 was approved for release by the name ‘Abay’. Genotypes G2, G6, and G7can be used as potential parent materials in rice breeding program

Generation mean analysis in finger millet (Eleusine coracana L. Gaertn)

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The choice of an efficient breeding procedure depends to a large extent on knowledge of the genetic system controlling the character to be selected. The objective of this study was to determine finger millet yield and yield components inheritance type and maternal effect existence and magnitude with analysis of generation mean. Ten generations (P1, P2, F1, F2, BC1 and BC2) and reciprocals (RF1, RF2, RBC1 and RBC2) developed from improved variety “Necho” x landrace “Tikur dagusa” cross. The results showed that, the presence of genetic variation for all traits. No significant differences were found for all the characters studied between F1, F2, BC1 and BC2 with their corresponding reciprocal generations; which indicating the absence of maternal effect. The scaling test and six parameter model predominantly self-pollinated crops like finger millet additive component of gene action are more useful for breeders for successful exploitation in the selection programme, by corresponding with additive x additive type of interaction effects and complementary type of epistasis. Hence, the types of inheritance found in the studied traits were both additive and non-additive gene effects. This suggest recurrent selection breeding method at early and later generations for the possibility of developing pure line and hybrid varieties of finger millet.

Review Article

Emerging plant virus disease: the case of maize yellow mosaic virus

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Bayissa Regassa

Published on: 30 Sep 2021 | DOI: | Pages: 1-5

A group of plant viruses and individual viruses have emerged as major threats to crop production worldwide. Emergent plant viruses are often mediated via an insect vector and with increasing global trade. Also, the emergence of a virus in a new geographical area may be initiated by the introduction of infected plant materials (propagative materials or seeds). The novel virus, named Maize yellow mosaic virus (MaYMV) consists potentially in a new constraint to maize production worldwide. MaYMV epidemics are multi-component systems resulting from interactions among the viruses, vectors and host plants. MaYMV was transmitted by corn leaf aphid, Rhopalosiphum maidis, but not mechanically. In addition to maize, MaYMV was harbored by alternative hosts such as sugarcane, itch grass sugarcane, Panicum miliaceum, and Sorghum bicolor. Knowledge of the ways in which a virus maintains itself in the absence of a living host and spreads in the field is essential for the development of effective management measures. More research is needed to assess MaYMV in weeds and wild hosts, whether transmitted through seeds and the relative abilities of different aphid species to transmit MaYMV within and between different grass species to know the virus ecology and infection pathway to maize, to aid the development of an effective integrated disease management tactic.

Physio-biochemical and molecular perspectives of TRIA-mediated growth responses in plants

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Sanjoy Shil

Published on: 30 Sep 2021 | DOI: | Pages: 6-13

Triacontanol (TRIA) is a pivotal endogenous plant growth regulator with effective metabolic activator found in plant epicuticular waxes and in beewaxes as the palmitate ester. It is a non-toxic, pollution-free, low-cost, high-efficiency, broad-spectrum plant growth regulator.  It was found after a series of experiment that TRIA plays a significant role in promoting the growth and yields of corn, rice, wheat, tomato, carrot, cucumber, lettuce, soybean, potato, peanuts, chilli pepper, cotton and ornamental plants like rose etc. TRIA causes rapid responses in enhancing growth of the crop and the growth in rice, tomato and maize about 20% is enhanced by this treatment. The response is very rapid, an increased growth within 10 minutes. It is very much insoluble in water and is applied as foliage on the leaf at a very low concentration i.e.0.01mg/litre. However, further investigations are necessary to elucidate the possible role of TRIA on plant growth regulation, physio-biochemical as well as molecular activities and secondary metabolite biosynthesis in plants subjected to various biotic and abiotic stresses. The present review covers the pivotal role of TRIA in plant growth regulation, their mode of action and significance in improving the plant productivity and quality of both agricultural as well horticultural crops.

Current and future potential distribution, risk and management of Spodoptera frugiperda

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The fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda is notorious pest that challenge worldwide particularly tropical and sub-tropics. Currently, beyond its native continent, it invaded most African and Asian countries. Based on several researchers’ pest risk prediction, this pest has potential to colonize remaining world. The biological traits accompanied with geo-ecological diversity of continents have been complicated global distribution that currently impedes human intervention. Currently, fall armyworm management approaches are varying among countries. In America, various management options including advanced technology have been developed to minimize fall armyworm risk. In Africa, even though various attempts have been made, still now, no concrete management options have been developed due to lack of adequate information on bioecology of this pest. Therefore, future researches need to focus on base line information on pest bio- ecological interaction, simulating distribution pathway, introducing and adapting available technology from native countries is very important. In addition, scattered effort and research output made in African and Asia countries need to be pooled together to help resource poor farmers.

Improvement of Eragrostis tef for lodging resistance

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Tef is largely grown in Ethiopia and plays a vital role in food security. However, its production and productivity are adversely affected by various factors; among these lodging is the major one. It affects yield and deteriorates the quality of grain and straw. The risk of lodging is determined by environmental factors, inputs, plant architecture, and stem composition. The strength of the culm internode is enhanced by nutrients like silicon, potassium, and phosphorus. However, the high nitrogen application makes the low strength of the base and increases the upper vegetative parts resulting in high lodging. Besides, chemical compositions like lignin, cellulose, hemicellulose, and carbohydrates have a positive effect on stem strength and helpful in improving lodging. Moreover, comprehensive investigations that combine conventional and molecular breeding and study on tef anatomical, morphological and chemical compositions are useful to improve tef lodging resistance.

Research Note

Evaluation of blackgram (Vigna mungo L.) genotypes in mid hill regions of Nepal

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Twelve blackgram genotypes were assessed for grain yield and its attributing traits at National Plant Breeding and Genetics Research Centre, Khumaltar, Lalitpur, Nepal in summer season of 2017-2018. The genotypes were sown in randomized complete block design with three replications. Plot size was 4x2.4 m2 with a spacing of 20x50 cm. The traits like plant height, early plant stand/m2, days to flowering, days to maturity, final plant stand /m2, pods/plant, unfilled pods/plant and grain yield were recorded. The two years combined results showed non-significant differences among genotypes for all the characters except 100 seed weight. Based on average yield performance, genotypes BLG0036-1, Shekhar-1 and BLG0066-1-1 performed better than the others and they were considered as pipeline varieties for further evaluation.

Mini Review

Foliar application of micronutrients on gladiolus plants

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Growth, quality and yield of gladiolus plants are directly influenced by foliar application of micronutrients and play important role in changing vegetative and reproductive characters. Foliar application reduces the nutrient use efficiency and environmental pollution. During the development of bud stage, application of micronutrients combination performs better and a significant characteristic of nutrients improves the quality, shelf life of flowers and corm production. Keeping this in observation, micronutrients on the growth, quality and yield of gladiolus plant are study and reviewed in this paper.

Weeds control through allelopathic extracts from different plants

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Increasing costs in the agricultural sectors is nowadays with the use of herbicides on weeds control that need to use non chemical methods to reduce the environmental impact of chemical herbicide, insecticides and weedicide to prevent weed resistance, use of allelochemical natural herbicide for weed control to reduce the costs. In integrated weed management programs allelopathic chemicals as an alternative for weeds control. These chemicals inhibit the weeds growth and as a weapon to be used against these unwanted plants. Allelopathic crops species relationship, genetic diversity is very extreme and genetic control of these compounds to be seems. The main aims of this review paper are to find out the efficient allelopathic nonchemical control of weeds from crops and best way of controlling the noxious weeds with these plants extract.