Submitted to: African Journal of Agricultural Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/28/2008
Publication Date: 11/1/2008
Citation: Erpelding, J.E. 2008. Field evaluation of foliar anthracnose disease response for sorghum germplasm from the Matabeleland North Province of Zimbabwe. African Journal of Agricultural Research. Vol 3(11), pp. 792-796. Interpretive Summary: Anthracnose is a fungal disease of sorghum. The disease can be observed on leaves of susceptible varieties and grain yield losses of more than 50% have been reported. Plant death before flowering has been observed in Puerto Rico for highly susceptible varieties. Resistant varieties can be planted to prevent disease losses. However, the pathogen can rapidly change to overcome sources of resistance; thus, additional sources of resistance are needed to develop improved sorghum varieties. The sorghum collection maintained by the USDA-ARS, National Plant Germplasm System provides an important source of anthracnose resistant germplasm. Forty-one sorghum germplasm lines collected from the Matabeleland North Province of Zimbabwe were evaluated for anthracnose disease response at the USDA-ARS, Tropical Agriculture Research Station in Isabela, Puerto Rico. Eleven of the 41 sorghum germplasm lines were rated as resistant and could be used to breed new resistant varieties. Additionally, infection was low for the majority of the germplasm lines suggesting sorghum germplasm from Zimbabwe could be an important source of anthracnose resistance.
Technical Abstract: Anthracnose occurs in most sorghum producing regions worldwide and the pathogen is highly variable; thus, additional sources of resistance are needed for sorghum improvement. To identify resistant sources, 41 sorghum accessions from the Matabeleland North Province of Zimbabwe were evaluated for foliar anthracnose disease response in Isabela, Puerto Rico during the 2006 and 2007 growing seasons. Eleven accessions showed a resistance response characterized by reddening of inoculated leaves and no acervuli development. Fourteen of the 30 accessions rated as susceptible showed a susceptible response within and between growing seasons. Four accessions rated as susceptible showed variation in disease response between growing seasons. In 2006, more accessions showed a susceptible response across replications, and infection of the flag leaf was more frequent; however, infection severity was greater for the susceptible accessions observed in 2007. Overall, in 2006 and 2007, infection severity was low and the majority of the accessions showed less than 10% infected leaf area. In addition to the accessions showing resistance, the accessions with low infection severity may benefit sorghum improvement programs.