Status of Maize lethal necrosis disease (MLND)in kenya

Publication Date
Fri, 27 Jun 2014, 04:00
Last Updated
June 27, 2014, 11:01 a.m.
Report Number
Pest Id
Maize chlorotic mottle virus - (MCMV00)
Report Status
Restricted to the Poaceae of which maize is the main a natural host (rdon et al., 1984). Other species that have been infected by mechanical inoculation include: Bromus spp., Digitaria sanguinalis, Eragrostis trichodes, Hordeum spp., Panicum spp., Setaria spp., Sorghum spp. and Triticum aestivum (Castillo and Hebert, 1974; Niblett and Claflin, 1978; Bockelman et al., 1982) and Zea mays subsp. mays and mexicana (Castillo and Hebert, 1974; Nault et al., 1982). The Kansas serotype 1 also infected Zea mays subsp. parviglumis and Zea luxurians (Nault et al., 1982).
Pest Status
  • Present: subject to official control
Geographical Distribution
In Kenya, MLND was first reported in September 2011, at lower elevations (1900 masl) in the Longisa Division of Bomet County, Southern Rift Valley of Kenya. Later the disease was noted in Bomet Central Division, spreading into the neighbouring Chepalungu and Narok South and North Districts and Naivasha. By April 2012, the disease was reported in altitudes up to 2100 MaSL and in various parts of the country. Currently the disease has been reported in all provinces in Kenya except North Eastern. Latest reports indicate the disease has been noted in Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.

The focus on the disease management is surveillance and research with an aim of mitigation and establishing a lasting solution on the disease. Measures in place include:

Surveillance & Phytosanitation (elimination of infected plants), crop rotation , vector control and; Screening, testing & introduction of resistant varieties A coordinated intervention by relevant agencies including NPPO (KEPHIS), Ministry of Agriculture, Pest Products Control Board (PCPB), and Research organizations, namely Kenya Agricultural Institute (KARI), International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), and International Center for Insect Ecology and Physiology (ICIPE), Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), among others is already in place to address the MLND problem. Already research is ongoing to identify and release resistant/tolerant varieties. Research coordinated by KARI and CIMMYT in two sites Naivasha and Bomet has screened over 200 accessions/varieties at different sites including Bomet and Naivasha. Already promising varieties have been identified and are undergoing bulking before commercialization. These include WEI 101, also known as Tumaini 1

Maize lethal necrosis disease (MLND) is a serious threat to maize production where it occurs. For instance, in Kansas, crop losses due to MLND have been estimated to be 50-90% (Niblett and Claflin, 1978; Uyemoto et al., 1980) depending on the variety of maize and the year. In Peru, losses in floury and sweet maize varieties due to Maize chlorotic mottle virus have been reported to average between 10 and 15%. In Kenya, in areas where MLND was very serious, farmers experienced extensive or complete crop loss (Wangai et al., 2012). The infected plants are frequently barren; the ears formed are small, deformed and set little or no seeds, drastically reducing the yield. The areas affected constitute major maize production acreage and given the recorded loss of up to 100%, it has become an important food security issue in Kenya. The impact of the disease can been felt in the whole maize value chain. To help control MLND, the maize seeds are dressed with an insecticide in addition to a fungicide seed dressing.
Contact for info
Managing Director, P.O. Box 49592-00100 Nairobi. Tel: 254-020- 3597201/2/3 | 3536171 | 3536172 Cell:0722-516221/0723-786779/0733-874274/0734-874141 Fax:254-020-3536175 ,
Issue keywords
Pest reporting
Commodity keywords
[10] Cereals

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