Full Length Research Paper
The effect of 3 organic soil amendments viz., cassava peel (Manihot esculenta, Cranz), sawdust (Gmelina arborea, Roxb) and leaves of (Cedrela odorata, L) on the stalk rot of maize (Zea mays L.) caused by Fusarium verticillioides was investigated. Fourteen treatments made up of single or combined treatments with pathogenic or non-pathogenic inoculation of concentrations 3:1, 2:2 and 1:3 were added to 15.8 g sterilized soil. Growth parameters data on leaf numbers, stem girth, plant height and leaf area were collected biweekly. All treatments had significant effects on plant heights, number of leaves, leaves areas, stems girths and on disease indices and disease severities of the treated plants compared to controls. Concentration 2 (2:2) had the highest effect on all the growth parameters considered and gave the lowest disease index (P= 0.05, R2= 0.98) and disease severity (P= 0.05, R2= 0.92) in the treated plants. Plants treated with cassava peels combined with C odorata had significantly lowest disease index and severity thus, competing favourably with F verticillioides. Severity of stalk rot of maize can reduce significantly in amended soils compared to unamended soils.
Key word: Organic amendment, stalk rot, F verticillioides, toothpick inoculation, maize stem, Gmelina arborea, Manihot esculenta, Cederela odorata.
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