False Mildew on Pearl Millet and Other Hosts in Zimbabwe

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Mtls E.
MIlIlano, W.A.J.
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About 1200 pearl millets and about 3000 sorghums from all over the world were evaluated at various research sites in Zimbabwe for the presence of false mildew. High severities of false mildew caused by Beniowskia sphaer oidea) on pearl millet (Pennisetum glancum) were recorded for the first time in Zimbabwe in the 1985-1986 cropping season. The epiphytotics in 1986 were also observed on kilts grass (Setaria verticillata). In a survey for the prevalence of false mildew, the disease was found in several widely isolated research stations but not in farmers’ fields. It occurred at high severities annually at one location only. Evaluation of experimental cultivars of pearl millet and sorghum (sorghum bicolor) for response to false mildew under natural epiphytotics showed a wide range of variability in resistance. No symptoms were found on sorghum in Zimbabwe but the disease has been recorded on sorghum in Uganda, Malawi and Sierra Leone. In Zimbabwe, hosts of this disease included Pennisetum glaucim P. purpureum and Setaria verticillata. This study suggested that the disease is favoured by humid conditions and is unlikely to cause economic damage in the more arid regions that are the major production areas for millet.
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, 59 (No. 2), pp. 145-153