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Incidences and severity of maize ear rot disease in Western Kenya

Research Paper | August 1, 2017

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George T. Opande, Mathews Dida, Phillip Onyango, Christine Wesonga

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Int. J. Biosci.11( 2), 136-143, August 2017

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12692/ijb/11.2.136-143


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Maize ear rot disease is caused by a complex relationship involving the fungal pathogens; Stenocarpella spp., Penicillium spp., Trichoderma spp. Nigrospora spp, Gibberella spp., Fusarium spp., Stenocarpella spp., and Aspergillus spp. These pathogens are reported to jointly lower the quality of the maize crop and produce mycotoxins, which are toxic to both livestock and human beings. Before this study, there was insufficient documented information pertaining to incidences and severity of ear rot causing pathogens occurring in 4 counties (Western Kenya) namely; Kisumu, Siaya, Homabay and Migori, therefore this study was initiated to determine the incidences and severity of the ear rot symptoms. Studies were carried out in 12 Divisions in 4 counties of Western Kenya namely; Kisumu, Homabay, Siaya and Migori in successive long and short rain seasons of September to December 2014 and February to July of 2015 respectively using a Stratified Random Sampling design (SRSD), with the divisions as sampling units and the farmers’ fields as sampling fields. Maize ear rots were prevalent in all the 12 divisions studied. Their prevalence being only higher during the February to July 2015 than in the September to December 2014.


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