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Articles by P.M. Wachira
Total Records ( 3 ) for P.M. Wachira
  P.M. Wachira , J.W. Kimenju , S. Okoth , R.K. Mibey and J. Mung`atu
  This study was undertaken with the objective of determining the occurrence of nematode destroying fungi in soil under different land use systems, with the ultimate goal of harnessing their potential in the control of plant parasitic nematodes. Soil samples were collected from an indigenous forest, maize/bean, napier grass, shrub and vegetable fields, which represented the main land use types in Taita Taveta district of Kenya. The fungal isolates obtained were grouped into seven genera the species identified were Arthrobotrys oligospora, A. dactyloides, Monacrosporium cionopagum, A. superba, Harposporium anguillulae, Harposporium sp., Dactyllela lobata, Acrostalagums obovatus, Haptoglosa heterospora and Nematoctonous georgenious. Occurrence of nematode destroying fungi was significantly (P: 3.81x10-7) different among the land use systems in the study area. Out of the isolates that were positively identified, 33.7, 27.9, 20.9, 11.6 and 5.8% were from fields under vegetable, maize/bean, napier grass, shrub and forest, respectively. The diversity of nematode destroying fungi was highest in the maize/bean fields and lowest forest soil. Fungal isolates from vegetable gardens were most diverse but the least even while the forest land use was most even but least diverse. The total richness of nematode destroying fungi was 9, in vegetable and maize/bean fields while was 7, 6 and 3 in napier, shrub and forest habitats, respectively. This study has established that nematode destroying fungi are widely distributed and that land use has a significant effect on their diversity.
  P.M. Wachira , J.W. Kimenju , S.A. Okoth and R.K. Mibey
  A screenhouse experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of cow manure, chicken manure and their combinations on nematode destroying fungi, nematode community and growth of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.). The amendments were applied at the rate of 5% w/w in all the treatments. Isolation of nematode destroying fungi was done using the soil sprinkle technique. Nematodes were extracted from soil using the modified Baermann technique. Tomato growth was estimated through plant height and dry weight. Application of the organic amendments resulted in significant differences (p≤0.05) in occurrence of nematode destroying fungi amongst the treatments. The nematode destroying fungi occurred at frequencies of 50, 29.4, 17.6 and 2.9% in soil amended with chicken manure, cow/chicken combination, cow manures and the control, respectively. Eight species of nematode destroying fungi were identified in this study. The fungus Arthrobotrys oligospora (Fresenius) was most dominant fungus in all the treatments including control pots with an isolation frequency of 38.2%. Addition of organic amendments into the soil also resulted in an increase of bacterial and fungal feeding nematodes and reduction of plant parasitic nematodes. Specifically there was a 225, 96 and 62% increase in bacterial feeding nematodes and 391, 96 and 74% increase in fungal feeding nematodes in soil amended with chicken manure alone, combination of chicken and cow manure alone in that order. Numbers of plant-parasitic nematodes were 92% lower in soil treated with chicken manure compared to the control. Plant height and leaf widths were highest in plants treated with combination of cow and chicken manures. The plants mean dry weight were 6.6, 5.6, 2.0 and 1.5 in combination of chicken and cow manure, chicken manure alone, cow manure alone and control, respectively. This study has therefore, revealed that organic amendments stimulate the occurrence of nematode destroying fungi in the soil and also reduce plant parasitic nematodes. In addition, the combination of cow and chicken manure stimulates plant growth.
  J.W. Kimenju , G.O.M. Odero , E.W. Mutitu , P.M. Wachira , R.D. Narla and W.M. Muiru
  This study aimed at evaluating the suitability of selected substrates for mushroom production. Ten different substrates namely water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), maize cobs (Zea mays), coconut fibre (Cocos nucifera), finger millet straw (Seteria microcheata), banana fibre (Musa sp.), sawdust (Eucalyptus sp.), rice straw (Oryza sativa) bean straw (Phaseolus vulgaris) and wheat straw (Tritichum aestivum) were tested for their suitability in mushroom production. Plastic bags were filled with 250 g of substrate and arranged in a randomized complete block design. The substrates had a significant (p≤0.05) effect on days to pinning, number of caps and biological efficiency. Compared to the control, which pinned at 28 days, maize cobs, sawdust and coconut fiber had short pinning durations of 19, 22 and 23 days, respectively. With the exception of sawdust, water hyacinth and maize cobs, the rest of the organic substrates significantly increased the marketable caps of the oyster mushroom. The straws, namely, bean, rice, finger millet and wheat had the highest biological efficiency in decreasing order of 106, 92, 85 and 77%, respectively. Stipe length was longest in oyster mushroom grown on bean straw, followed by finger millet straw, maize cobs, banana fiber and shortest in sawdust. Mushroom yield was, 80, 78, 76, 73 and 68%, higher in bean straw, rice straw, millet straw, wheat straw and banana fibre treatment compared to the control. Mushroom yields on sawdust were 60% lower than the control. In descending order of suitability bean, rice, finger millet and wheat straws can be recommended for oyster mushroom production.
 
 
 
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