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Survey of the Prevalence and Incidence of Foliar and Panicle Diseases of Sorghum Across Production Fields in Niger



Louis Kajac Prom, Haougui Adamou, Adamou Issa, Abdoulaye Abdoulaye Abdoulkadri, Karimou Issa, Ali Outani Bibata and Clint Magill
 
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ABSTRACT

Background and Objective: In Niger, sorghum ranks second as the most important cereal after pearl millet and is used primarily as a staple food and fodder. In 2019, an extensive survey of the occurrence and distribution of foliar and panicle diseases affecting sorghum in farmers’ fields from major production regions of Niger was conducted. Materials and Methods: A total of 121 fields in the regions of Tillabéri, Tahoua, Dosso and Maradi along paved and unpaved roads, including National and Secondary (RN1, RN2, RN3) were surveyed. In each field, 60 plants at late flowering to hard dough stages of development were assessed using a W-shaped pattern. Results: The study documented 21 different sorghum diseases, including anthracnose, long smut, oval leaf spot, leaf blight, head smut and zonate leaf spot. The most prevalent diseases were anthracnose, leaf blight, oval leaf spot, rough leaf spot and long smut. The highest mean incidence of anthracnose, leaf blight and rough leaf spot was recorded from Maradi, whereas, the regions of Dosso and Tahoua exhibited the highest mean oval leaf spot incidence. The highest incidence of long smut and zonate leaf spot was recorded in fields in Dosso region. Locations with highest incidence of these diseases can be considered ‘hot spots’ for resistance evaluations. Conclusion: This study is significant because for the 1st time it provides researchers, funding and governmental agencies in Niger a guide on the occurrence, distribution, prevalence and ‘hot spots’ for sorghum diseases.

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  How to cite this article:

Louis Kajac Prom, Haougui Adamou, Adamou Issa, Abdoulaye Abdoulaye Abdoulkadri, Karimou Issa, Ali Outani Bibata and Clint Magill, 2020. Survey of the Prevalence and Incidence of Foliar and Panicle Diseases of Sorghum Across Production Fields in Niger. Plant Pathology Journal, 19: 106-113.

DOI: 10.3923/ppj.2020.106.113

URL: https://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=ppj.2020.106.113
 
Received: January 09, 2020; Accepted: February 13, 2020; Published: March 15, 2020


Copyright: © 2020. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the creative commons attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

INTRODUCTION

Sorghum is one of the most indispensable crops and millions of people, especially in the drier tropics rely on it1. In addition to its uses such as baked foodstuff, alcoholic beverages, fiber, starch, paper and syrup, recently, sorghum is being used as a source of biofuel2-4.Compared to other cereals, sorghum is drought tolerant and can survive under harsh environmental conditions and is often grown under marginal lands in several countries2,5-7. In Niger, sorghum hectarage and production continue to increase and in 2017, 3,820,696 ha was harvested, resulting in production of 1,945,136 metric tonnes8. When compared to North America, Mexico, India, China and even some other African Countries, sorghum yield in Niger is still low, ranging from 420 kg g1 a little over9-11 900 kg ha1. The lower sorghum yield ha1 in Niger and other African Countries can be attributed to several factors such as weather patterns, type of sorghum cultivars/landraces used, lower farm inputs, pests and diseases9,12. In Niger, sorghum, which ranks second as the most important cereal after pearl millet, is used primarily as a staple food for the population and secondarily for animal feed, especially their haulms10,13,14. Despite all the limitations in sorghum cultivation and profitability, farmers in Niger and other African Countries are encouraged by the increasing regional demands and prices in the commodity and its potential as a source of biofuel3,9. Sorghum will continue to grow in importance as the world’s population increases and the estimated 3 billion tons increase of cereal for food and non-food purposes expected9,15 to be needed by 2050. However, increases in sorghum production and climate change will likely increase diseases incited by fungal, bacterial and viral microorganisms. Some of these fungal diseases can cause yield losses of up to 100% when susceptible sorghum lines are planted and in addition, some of these pathogens are capable of producing mycotoxins, limiting the use of the crop for human and animals16,17. This study was conducted to investigate the occurrence and distribution of foliar and panicle diseases affecting sorghum in farmers’ fields from major production regions of Niger.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Tillabéri, Tahoua, Dosso and Maradi in Niger, representing 4 of the top 5 major sorghum production regions were surveyed for foliar and panicle diseases during the 2019 growing season (Fig. 1).

Image for - Survey of the Prevalence and Incidence of Foliar and Panicle Diseases of Sorghum Across Production Fields in Niger
Fig. 1: Regions and locations of the sorghum fields surveyed
  Source: Adamou21

Table 1: Weather parameters and soil types of the surveyed regions of Niger
Image for - Survey of the Prevalence and Incidence of Foliar and Panicle Diseases of Sorghum Across Production Fields in Niger
Sources: Direction of Statistics11, Moussa18

These regions have a Sahelian, Northern Tahoua having a Sahelo-Saharian and Gaya, part of Dosso region having a Sahelo-Sudanian types of climate11 (Table 1). The annual rainfall ranges from 435 mm (Tahoua) to 700 mm (Dosso) and the soil type is mainly Ferruginous tropical, with Bengou and to a lesser degree Tara also having a hydromorphous type soil18 (Table 1). During the rainy season, the maximum and minimum temperatures for the surveyed regions are noted in Table 1.These regions covered an area of 262,402 km2 and lie between 11 and 19 degrees North of the equator19,20.Table 2 shows the ranks in term of annual sorghum production among the 8 regions of Niger. A total of 121 farmers’ fields along paved and unpaved roads, including National and Secondary (RN1, RN2, RN3) were surveyed and plants at late flowering to hard dough stages of development were assessed for diseases arbitrarily using a W-shaped pattern to cover the whole field. Table 3 shows the coordinates of the fields that were surveyed21. Along the roads, stops were made at intervals of 30 km. At each stop, 2-5 fields (60 plants/field) were surveyed for disease prevalence and incidence:

Image for - Survey of the Prevalence and Incidence of Foliar and Panicle Diseases of Sorghum Across Production Fields in Niger

RESULTS

The majority of the farmers’ fields assessed in this study were planted with different landraces, with a few exceptions that were planted with National Institute of Agricultural Research of Niger improved varieties. The fields surveyed ranged in size from 0.2-1.0 ha and were mostly reasonably maintained. The production systems employed by farmers in the surveyed regions were pure sorghum stands and intercropping with early and late varieties, millet-sorghum-cowpea, millet-cowpea-peanut, millet-sorghum-cowpea-hibiscus (Table 2).

Disease prevalence and incidence: In each field, 60 plants were assessed. The following sorghum diseases were identified as presented in Table 4. Figure 2a shows anthracnose infected sorghum plants in the field, 2b anthracnose infected mid rib showing the fruiting bodies or acervuli, 2c long smut infected panicle, 2d leaf Blight, 2e zonate leaf spot, 2f rough Leaf spot, 2g head smut on sorghum and 2h oval leaf spot. Anthracnose was found in 120 fields, representing 99% prevalence of the disease in the surveyed areas. In this study, anthracnose was followed by leaf blight with a prevalence of 89%, oval leaf spot (76%), rough leaf spot (67%) and long smut (63%) (Table 4). Out of the total number of fields surveyed in this study, maize dwarf mosaic virus, downy mildew, bacterial leaf spot and loose smut were found in either one or 2 fields. The highest mean incidence of anthracnose (64%), leaf blight (62%) and rough leaf spot (35%) was recorded from Maradi, whereas, the regions of Dosso and Tahoua exhibited the highest mean oval leaf spot incidence of 73% as presented in Table 5. Among the regions, overall mean long smut incidence was highest in Tahoua (28%), followed by 24% in Dosso and 20% in Tillabéri.

A total of 20 fields out of the 121 surveyed had anthracnose incidence of over 95%, 4 fields were from the region of Tillabéri, 7 from Dosso, 6 from Tahoua and 3 from Maradi (Table 6). Out of the 20 fields, 6 fields exhibited 100% incidence of anthracnose.

Table 2: Mean sorghum yield, rank in production, hectarage, yearly production and farming practices in the 4 major growing regions of Niger
Image for - Survey of the Prevalence and Incidence of Foliar and Panicle Diseases of Sorghum Across Production Fields in Niger
Sources: Hamidou et al.10, Direction of Statistics11

Table 3: Coordinates of surveyed fields in the different towns and villages in Niger
Image for - Survey of the Prevalence and Incidence of Foliar and Panicle Diseases of Sorghum Across Production Fields in Niger
Source: Adamou21

Table 4: Prevalence of sorghum diseases across the 121 fields in Niger, West Africa, 20191
Image for - Survey of the Prevalence and Incidence of Foliar and Panicle Diseases of Sorghum Across Production Fields in Niger
1Sorghum fields from 4 major sorghum growing regions of Tillabéri, Dosso, Tahoua and Maradi were surveyed, *Lower prevalence of grain mold may be attributed to the fact that some of the surveyed plants were ta the late flowering early soft dough stage of development

Image for - Survey of the Prevalence and Incidence of Foliar and Panicle Diseases of Sorghum Across Production Fields in Niger
Fig. 2(a-h):
(a) Anthracnose infected sorghum plants, (b) Anthracnose infected mid rib showing the fruiting bodies (acervuli), (c) Long smut infected panicle, (d) Leaf blight, (e) Zonate leaf spot, (f) Rough Leaf spot, (g) Head smut on sorghum and (h) Oval leaf spot

Table 5: Mean incidence (%) across fields infected with respective sorghum diseases in the four regions1
Image for - Survey of the Prevalence and Incidence of Foliar and Panicle Diseases of Sorghum Across Production Fields in Niger
1Number of surveyed fields in each region: Tillabéri: 50 fields, Dossa: 30 fields, Tahoua: 20 fields, Maradi: 21 fields, In each field, 60 plants were evaluated using a W-shaped pattern

These 6 fields and their locations can be considered ‘hot spots’ for anthracnose evaluation to identify resistance sources. Ten fields from the regions of Dosso, 7 from Tahoua and one field from Maradi exhibited over 95% incidence of oval leaf spot, with 5 fields recording 100% incidence (Table 7).

Image for - Survey of the Prevalence and Incidence of Foliar and Panicle Diseases of Sorghum Across Production Fields in Niger
Fig. 3: Incidence (%) of leaf blight in fields (112th-115th) surveyed at Galadentchi, Maradi, Niger in 2019

The highest incidence of long smut (87%) and zonate leaf spot (80%) was recorded in Kodo and Tara, in the region of Dosso, respectively. Over 95% incidence of target leaf spot was recorded in Dogaraoua, Tahaoua, sooty stripe in Koiria Haoussa, Tillabéri and rough leaf spot in Boureini, Dosso. Four sorghum fields assessed around the town of Galadentchi, Maradi, recorded the highest infection of leaf blight with 2 fields with 100% incidence (Fig. 3). In this survey, low prevalence of downy mildew was noted in Niger. Globally, grain mold is most important sorghum disease and during the survey, the highest mean incidence, 22%, was recorded in Tahoua, 20% in Dosso and 19% in Maradi (Table 5).

Table 6: Region and location of fields with over 95% incidence of anthracnose1
Image for - Survey of the Prevalence and Incidence of Foliar and Panicle Diseases of Sorghum Across Production Fields in Niger
1In each field, 60 plants were evaluated using a W-shaped pattern, *Fields with 100% incidence

Table 7: Region and location of oval leaf spot infected fields with over 95% incidence1
Image for - Survey of the Prevalence and Incidence of Foliar and Panicle Diseases of Sorghum Across Production Fields in Niger
1In each field, 60 plants were evaluated using a W-shaped pattern, *Fields with 100% incidence

Compared to the other diseases with high incidence, grain mold infection was not very high in most fields and this may be partially attributed to the fact that plants were mainly assessed at the late flowering to hard dough stage of development. During this survey, farmers’ participation was important; as a result, varietal information (Table 8), farmers’ names and contact information and on field disease identification and control methods were discussed. These interactions will continue and should ease the transfer of new technology to the sorghum farmers in Niger.

Table 8: Landraces and INRAN improved varieties identified during the survey1
Image for - Survey of the Prevalence and Incidence of Foliar and Panicle Diseases of Sorghum Across Production Fields in Niger
1These names of the landraces and varieties that were planted in some of the surveyed fields in 2019

DISCUSSION

In Niger, sorghum plays an integral part in the daily survival of the population and their livestock. However, the crop is hampered by biotic stresses and with the expected increase in world’s population to around 9.1 billion15, will require increases in sorghum production and with climate change will likely increase diseases incited by fungal, bacterial and viral microorganisms. Due to the paucity of information on the occurrence and distribution of sorghum foliar and panicle diseases, especially those that are of economic importance in Niger, the study was undertaken.

In this survey, the prevalence of anthracnose was 99% in the surveyed areas. Teferi and Wubshet22 reported 93.7% prevalence of anthracnose in surveyed fields in South Tigray, Ethiopia, while Tsedaley et al.23 noted the presence of anthracnose in all fields surveyed in Southwestern and Western Ethiopia. Also, Chala et al.6 recorded 84% prevalence of anthracnose in several parts of Ethiopia. In this study, after anthracnose, leaf blight followed by oval leaf spot, rough leaf spot and long smut were the most frequently documented sorghum diseases. Teferi and Wubshet22 also noted 84.8% leaf blight and 88.6% long smut prevalence in South Tigray, Ethiopia. Sorghum farmers’ fields surveyed across four major growing climatic zones in Nigeria, revealed that anthracnose, oval leaf spot, sooty stripe and gray leaf spot were the predominant diseases24. In the Sahelian zone, Pande et al.24 noted that fields had long smut incidence of <10 to over 20%. Survey of sorghum diseases conducted by Njoroge et al.25 in Tanzania and Uganda, found that leaf blight and rust were more prevalent in Tanzania while anthracnose and zonate were more prevalent in Uganda. Anthracnose, leaf blight, gray leaf spot and zonate leaf spot were found to be the most prevalent diseases in farmers’ fields in Western Kenya26.Similar to this current work in Niger, oval leaf spot also was found to be one of the predominant diseases of sorghum in four major growing climatic zones in Nigeria24. Out of the total number of fields surveyed in this study, maize dwarf mosaic virus, downy mildew, bacterial leaf spot and loose smut were found in low frequency. Pande et al.24 also noted the presence of maize mosaic virus, maize stripe virus and potyvirus in some climatic zones in Nigeria. In this survey, low prevalence of downy mildew was noted in Niger, this agrees with reports by Kutama et al.27, who found low distribution of the disease in sorghum in the Sudano Sahelian savanna zones of Nigeria.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, disease management, especially providing farmers with genetic resistance source to diseases of economic importance will be critical in ensuring food security. Thus, this work is significant because for the first time it provides sorghum researchers, such as Plant Pathologists, students, funding and governmental agencies in Niger a guide on the occurrence, distribution, prevalence and ‘hot spots’ (Fields and locations with over 95% incidence of a particular disease) where certain sorghum diseases can be evaluated to identify resistant sources. Once resistant sources are identified, they can be deployed in regions where the disease occurs or impacts yields.

SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT

This study reveals that sorghum anthracnose, leaf blight, oval leaf spot, rough leaf spot and long smut were the most widely distributed diseases in major production regions of Niger. Hot spots” for resistance evaluation of diseases such as anthracnose, leaf blight, oval leaf spot, long smut and zonate leaf spot were identified. There is little or no documentation about the prevalence and incidence of sorghum diseases in farmers’ fields in Niger, as a result, this is the first extensive survey of sorghum diseases in major production regions of the Country. This document will serve as a guide for present and future sorghum workers, especially sorghum pathologists and funding agencies interested in sorghum disease management.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

Funding provided through Cooperative Agreement No. AID-OAA-A-13-00047, Title: Enabling Marker Assisted Selection for Sorghum Disease Resistance in Senegal and Niger. Funded by The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sorghum and Millet, a United States Agency for International Development.

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