Distribution of Cassava Bacterial Blight and Reaction of Selected Cassava Genotypes to the Disease in Kenya

Hilda M. Odongo, Douglas W. Miano, William M. Muiru, Agnes W. Mwang’ombe, John W. Kimenju


Cassava bacterial blight (CBB) disease is an important bacterial disease of cassava. A study was carried out to determine the distribution of CBB in Kenya and to evaluate selected cassava genotypes for reaction to the disease. A survey was conducted in all the cassava growing regions within the country where cassava leaves showing symptoms of CBB were collected and isolated for biochemical characterization and PCR detection of the causal agent. The isolates were then used to determine the reaction of seven cassava genotypes to the disease. The disease was present in 17 out of the 21 counties surveyed. The bacteria extracted from the leaf samples conformed to all the biochemical and physiological tests specific to Xanthomonas axonopodis pv manihotis and to xanthomonads in general.  Polymerase chain reaction amplified the expected 500 base pairs fragment. Disease prevalence was highest in Kwale County at 100% Kilifi County recorded the highest incidence at 64%. All the genotypes evaluated in the greenhouse had area under disease progress curve (AUDPC) values higher than 52 which grouped them as susceptible. The study confirms the wide distribution of CBB in Kenya and the presence of the disease in the coast region, which was previously considered CBB free. The study also shows that some of the cassava genotypes being targeted for improvement by other projects are susceptible to the disease, and therefore the need consider resistance to CBB in developing improved cassava genotypes.

Keywords: Cassava bacterial blight, Distribution, Resistance

DOI: 10.7176/JNSR/9-4-05

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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