Hussein Shimelis

Abstracts

2 Screening Maize for Compatibility with F. Oxysporum to Enhance Striga asiatica (L.) Kuntze Resistance

Authors: Hussein Shimelis, Mark Laing, Admire Isaac Tichafa Shayanowako

Abstract:

Striga asiatica is among the leading abiotic constraints to maize production under small-holder farming communities in southern African. However, confirmed sources of resistance to the parasitic weed are still limited. Conventional breeding programmes have been progressing slowly due to the complex nature of the inheritance of Striga resistance, hence there is a need for more innovative approaches. This study aimed to achieve partial resistance as well as to breed for compatibility with Fusarium oxysporum fsp strigae, a soil fungus that is highly specific in its pathogenicity. The agar gel and paper roll assays in conjunction with a glass house pot trial were done to select genotypes based on their potential to stimulate germination of Striga and to test the efficacy of Fusarium oxysporum as a biocontrol agent. Results from agar gel assays showed a moderate to high potential in the release of Strigalactones among the 33 OPVs. Maximum Striga germination distances from the host root of 1.38 cm and up to 46% germination were observed in most of the populations. Considerable resistance was observed in a landrace ‘8lines’ which had the least Striga germination percentage (19%) with a maximum distance of 0.93 cm compared to the resistant check Z-DPLO-DTC1 that had 23% germination at a distance of 1.4cm. The number of fusarium colony forming units significantly deferred (P < 0.05) amongst the genotypes growing between germination papers. The number of crown roots, length of primary root and fresh weight of shoot and roots were highly correlated with concentration of fusarium macrospore counts. Pot trials showed significant differences between the fusarium coated and the uncoated treatments in terms of plant height, leaf counts, anthesis-silks intervals, Striga counts, Striga damage rating and Striga vigour. Striga emergence counts and Striga flowers were low in fusarium treated pots. Plants in fusarium treated pots had non-significant differences in height with the control treatment. This suggests that foxy 2 reduces the impact of Striga damage severity. Variability within fusarium treated genotypes with respect to traits under evaluation indicates the varying degree of compatibility with the biocontrol.

Keywords: Resistance, Compatibility, maize, Striga asiaitca, F. oxysporum

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1 Genetic Diversity of Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench Genotypes as Revealed by Microsatellite Markers

Authors: Maletsema Alina Mofokeng, Hussein Shimelis, Mark Laing, Pangirayi Tongoona

Abstract:

Sorghum is one of the most important cereal crops grown for food, feed and bioenergy. Knowledge of genetic diversity is important for conservation of genetic resources and improvement of crop plants through breeding. The objective of this study was to assess the level of genetic diversity among sorghum genotypes using microsatellite markers. A total of 103 accessions of sorghum genotypes obtained from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the African Centre for Crop Improvement and Agricultural Research Council-Grain Crops Institute collections in South Africa were estimated using 30 microsatellite markers. For all the loci analysed, 306 polymorphic alleles were detected with a mean value of 6.4 per locus. The polymorphic information content had an average value of 0.50 with heterozygosity mean value of 0.55 suggesting an important genetic diversity within the sorghum genotypes used. The unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean clustering based on Euclidian coefficients revealed two major distinct groups without allocating genotypes based on the source of collection or origin. The genotypes 4154.1.1.1, 2055.1.1.1, 4441.1.1.1, 4442.1.1.1, 4722.1.1.1, and 4606.1.1.1 were the most diverse. The sorghum genotypes with high genetic diversity could serve as important sources of novel alleles for breeding and strategic genetic conservation.

Keywords: Genetic Diversity, sorghum, genotypes, microsatellites

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