Screening of Eggplant Genotypes for resistance to anthracnose

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Anthracnose is one of the major diseases of eggplant and is controlled mainly by the use of chemicals. The use of chemicals, although beneficial, possesses threat to both human and the environment. The need for healthy food and healthy human environment has necessitated the use of resistant eggplant genotypes, following the increasing world demand and consumption. In view of these, a study was conducted between August, 2012 and August, 2013 to quantify the disease incidence and severity of eggplant anthracnose and also to screen for eggplant resistant genotypes. Questionnaires were administered to eggplant farmers for their perception on anthracnose and eggplant production. It was observed from the studies that Aworoworo and Obolo were the commonly grown eggplant varieties in the surveyed areas. However, both vegetative and fruit characteristics were found to be paramount in the selection of these varieties by farmers as they directly affect pest management practices and marketing of the produce. The study further showed that diseases and insect pests were the major problems that farmers often encounter in eggplant production. The highest eggplant anthracnose disease incidence and severity occurrence were recorded in Techiman and Offinso North Districts during the field survey. Significant morphological (vegetative and fruit characteristics) variations were observed among the eggplant genotypes in the field experimentation. Solanum melongena var. Zebrina had the highest total yield of 34.0 tons/ha followed by S. aethiopicum var. Dwumo 24.0tons/ha and then Solanum melongena var. Kalenda F1 21.8tons/ha. Among the two most cultivated genotypes, however, S. aethiopicum var. Obolo had 20.9tons/ha, compared with S. aethiopicum var. Aworoworo 10.7tons/ha. The result further showed a significant (P<0.05) positive correlation between disease incidence and severity (r = 0.95), number of branches and number of fruits (r = 0.65), fruit weight and total yield (r = 0.51) and stem girth and number of branches (r = 0.60). On the contrary, disease severity significantly affected fruit weight adversely (r = -0.51). Plant height was positively correlated with all the growth and yield parameters, except fruit weight and total yield. Anthracnose disease resistance was observed in the genotypes Antropo, Zebrina and Kalenda F1, both in the laboratory and field evaluations.
Thesis submitted to the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences Faculty of Agriculture KNUST, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of M.Sc. Crop Protection (Plant Pathology)