Health of farmer-saved maize seed in north-east Nigeria

P.C. Biemond, O. Oguntade, T.J. Stomph, P. Lava Kumar, A.J. Termorshuizen, P.C. Struik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many Nigerian farmers depend for their seed on seed-producing farmers, the so-called informal Seed System (SS), but seed quality of the SS is unknown. Farmers planting low quality seed risk poor field emergence and low plant vigour as a result of low physiological quality or infection with seed-borne pathogens. The objective of this research was to test seed quality of maize seed from the informal SS in north-east Nigeria. A total of 46,500 seeds (93 samples of 500 seeds each) were tested for germination, off-types and seed health. Seed pathology was quantified by plating disinfected seeds onto agar, and identifying the fungi present after 3 days incubation. Twelve seed-borne pathogens were identified including Bipolaris maydis (found in 45 % of the farmer-produced samples), Botryodiplodia theobromae (97 %) and Curvularia lunata (38 %). All samples were infected with Fusarium verticillioides, with a median infection incidence of 59 % (2009) and 51 % (2010). None of the 93 samples tested passed the demands for certified seed of the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) in Nigeria, in particular the maximum limit of five off-types per kg seed sample. Based on these results, seed-producing farmers must improve the health of seed. The NASC should revise the standards for off-type seeds to minimize the time spent by farmers sorting planting material.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-572
JournalEuropean Journal of Plant Pathology
Volume137
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • macrophomina-phaseolina
  • fusarium-verticillioides
  • charcoal rot
  • population
  • biocontrol
  • drought
  • cowpea
  • system

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