J. T. Manyasi1, P. K. Kimurto1 and J. J. Mafurah1
Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University
Corresponding Author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pyricularia grisea (anamorph Magnaporthe grisea) is the most destructive fungal pathogen causing blast disease in finger millet (Eleusine coracana) causing significant yield loss ranging from 28-100% and most cultivars grown by farmers are susceptible to the disease. Host plant resistance is a good alternative and most effective method for control of blast since no additional costs to the farmer once the variety has been adopted. Twelve diverse genotypes from ICRISAT, Kenya Gene Bank and local accessions and selected from field screening of 25 lines were evaluated for blast resistance, in inoculated trials for leaf and neck blast resistance and severity under greenhouse conditions for two seasons. The trials were evaluated in a Randomized complete block design (RCBD) with 3 replications. Resistant check (Gulu E) and susceptible check (KNE 741) were used as controls. Data on leaf and neck blast damage and severity was done using Disease Severity Index (DSI) scale of 0-100% at 7 day interval and AUDPC. Results from ANOVA revealed that days to heading, maturity, height, finger number, panicle weight, 1000 kennel weight, neck AUDPC, finger length, yield and biomass of genotypes differed significantly (P<0.001).DSI on neck blast showed that 3 genotypes were resistant (SMDF 1702, IE2183 and snapping purple variety), 4 were moderately resistant with 13% (U15, KNE 1034, KNE1124x796 and KatFm1xu220.127.116.11.1.1). DSI on leaf blast showed that 4 genotypes were resistant (Gulu E, KatFm1xu18.104.22.168.1.1, KNE 1034 and SMDF 1702). Two were moderately resistant (KNE 629 and Kal Pader). Result from AUDPC showed that head blast differed significantly (P<0.05) among genotypes while leaf blast was not significantly (P>0.05) different among the finger millet genotypes. Pearson’s correlation coefficient indicated that there was a significant (P<0.01) negative correlation of neck blast to 1000 kernel weight and yield. Leaf blast had a significant positive correlation with 1000 kernel weight which had a significant positive correlation with yield (P<0.001). Panicle weight had a significant (P<0.05) positive correlation with yield. This results indicated that Kenyan germplasm has high potential for blast resistant breeding.
Keywords: Host plant resistance, Genotypes, Leaf and neck blast resistance.