Evaluation of chickpea genotypes for tolerance to ascochyta blight

In Kenya dry highlands where wheat, maize, and barley are the main crop, chickpeas are considered as off-season crop (October-February) before the next cropping season. Thus these crops provide an alternative source of income to farmers. Chickpea introduction into these areas has not been adopted largely because of abiotic and biotic stresses. Ascochyta blight, a fungal disease, is one of the major hindrance to chickpea production, causing up to 100% yield loss under favorable climatic conditions in the study areas. Although the disease can be controlled by use of fungicides, host plant resistance is the cheaper approach and is ecologically sustainable. The objectives of this study were: to screen 25 chickpea genotypes for resistance to Ascochyta blight under controlled and field conditions. The field study was done in three sites: University of Eldoret Farm (LH3), Koibatek ATC (UM4) and Egerton University (LH2-LH3). The glasshouse experiment was laid in CRD design while the field experiments were laid out in RCBD design with three replications. Data on severity, initial plant stand, days to flowering, days to podding, days to maturity, plant height, spreading, hundred seed weight and grain yield were collected. Data were subjected to analysis of variance using GenStat release 14.0 and means separated using Duncan multiple range test comparisons at α = 0.05. Test genotypes showed a significant differences (P ≤ 0.001) in levels of resistance to Ascochyta blight attack. Genotypes Flip 94079c, Genesis 079, Genesis 090, Genesis Kalkee, Howard, Howzat, ICCV 98801, Sonali, PBA Striker, PBA Slasher, PBA Hattrick, Doolin, Thomas, Lyons, Jimbour, FlipperAmethyst, Kyabra, and Lyle showed a resistant reaction. Yorker showed moderate resistance while ICCV 00305, ICCV 00108, ICCV 92944, ICCV 95423 and ICCV 97105 were susceptible. Genotypes Jimbour, Yorker, Flip 94079c and ICCV98801 were found to be resistant, with stable grain yield and highly adaptable across the environments. Genotypes Howzat, Thomas, Sonali, Amethyst, Doolin, and Genesis 079 which were resistant to the disease but low yielding are recommended for further breeding to improve their grain yields. They are also candidates for chickpea breeding as sources of resistance to Ascochyta blight.
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Region Focus: 
East Africa
RUFORUM Working document series
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Open Access
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Web resource