Conditioning effects of Striga hermonthica seed on field performance of maize uri icon

abstract

  • Seeds of the obligate parasite Striga hermonthica, germinate in response to stimulants in the root exudate of maize and other host crops. Under laboratory conditions, conditioning (defined as treatment with moisture) of Striga seeds for one to three weeks before exposure to germination stimulant is required for optimum germination. The objective of this study was to determine if maize performance and Striga emergence, both indices of resistance, were influenced by the interval between Striga seed infestation and maize planting, under high parasite inoculum (3000-6000 germinable seeds) as practiced in maize resistance breeding field nurseries. Four conditioning treatments were investigated: maize planted immediately after Striga seed infestation, and maize planted after one, two and three weeks after infestation. Experimental design was randomized complete block with four replications. Differences among the four conditioning treatments were not significant for maize damage score, height, stalk lodging, number of ears harvested, grain yield and number of emerged Striga plants. Thus, maize planted on the same day as Striga infestation showed similar response as maize planted one to three weeks after infestation. Using high seed inoculum, maize can be planted immediately after Striga infestation in maize breeding nurseries. Combining Striga seed infestation and maize planting into a single field operation is convenient: and reduces cost of screening. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2001
  • 2001