The list of STMA-supported research publications from West Africa for the year 2019 is out

Posted on News, Press room, Published Journals, Research News, Seed System Publication, West Africa News, West Africa Publications, November 30, 2019

Melaku Gedil and Abebe Menkir. 2019. An Integrated Molecular and Conventional Breeding Scheme for Enhancing Genetic Gain in Maize in Africa. Published in Frontiers. Plant Sciences and accessible here

Adu, G. B., Badu-Apraku, B., Akromah, R., Garcia-Oliveira, A. L., Gedil, M., Awuku, F. J. 2019. Genetic diversity and population structure of early-maturing tropical maize inbred lines using SNP markers, published  in PloS ONE, volume 14, number 4 and accessible here  

Badu-Apraku, B., Talabi, A. O., Fakorede, M., Fasanmade, Y., Gedil, M., Magorokosho, C., Asiedu, R. 2019. Yield gains and associated changes in an early yellow bi-parental maize population following genomic selection for Striga resistance and drought tolerance, published in BMC Plant Biology, volume 19, number 129, and accessible here.

Bankole, F., Menkir, A., Olaoye , G.*, Olakojo, O.*, Gedil, M. 2019. Association studies between grain yield and agronomic traits of a MARS maize (Zea mays L.) population under drought and non-stress condition, published in Acta Agriculturae Slovenica, volume 114, and accessible here.

Kammo, E. Q., Suh, C., Mbong, G. A., Djomo, S. H., Chimi, N. L. L., Mbeungang, D. L., Mafouasson, H. A., Meseka, S. K. and Menkir, A. 2019. Biological versus chemical control of fall armyworm and Lepidoptera stem borers of maize (Zea mays), published in Agronomie Africaine, volume 31, number 2, and accessible here.

Kolawole, A. O., Menkir, A., Blay, E., Ofori, K. and Kling, J. G., 2019. Changes in heterosis of maize (Zea mays L.) varietal cross hybrids after four cycles of reciprocal recurrent selection, published in Cereal Research Communications, volume 47, number 1, and accessible here .

Sangare, A., Menkir, A., Ofori, K. and Gracen, V., 2019. Studies on estimation of heterosis for striga resistance in maize test crosses in Mali, published in Journal of Genetics, Genomics & Plant Breeding, volume 3, number 3, and accessible here

Akaogu, I. C., Badu-Apraku, B., Tongoona, P., Ceballos, H., Gracen, V. E., Offei, S. and Dzidzienyo, D. 2019. Inheritance of Striga hermonthica adaptive traits in an early-maturing white maize inbred line containing resistance genes from Zea diploperennis. published in Plant Breeding, and accessible here  

Annor, B., Badu-Apraku, B., Nyadanu, D., Akromah, R. and Fakorede, M. 2019. Testcross performance and combining ability of early maturing maize inbreds under multiple-stress environments, published in NATURE Scientific Reports, volume 9, and accessible here .

Nelimor, C., Badu-Apraku, B., Nguetta, S. P., Tetteh, A. Y. and Garcia-Oliveira, A. L. 2019. Phenotypic characterization of maize landraces from Sahel and Coastal west Africa reveals marked diversity and potential for genetic improvement, published in Journal of Crop Improvement, and accessible here .

Obeng-Bio, E., Badu-Apraku, B., Ifie, B. E., Danquah, A., Blay, E. and Annor, B. 2019. Genetic analysis of grain yield and agronomic traits of early provitamin A quality protein maize inbred lines in contrasting environments,  published in The Journal of Agricultural Science, and accessible here.

Nelimor, C., Badu-Apraku, B., Tetteh, A. Y.* and Nguetta, A. S. 2019. Assessment of genetic diversity for drought, heat and combined drought and heat stress tolerance in early maturing maize landraces, published in Plants, volume 8, and accessible here.

Badu-Apraku, B., Fakorede, M., Talabi, A. O., Oyekunle, M., Aderounmu, M., Lum, A. F., Ribeiro, P. F., Adu, G. B. and Toyinbo, J. O. 2019. Genetic studies of extra-early provitamin-A maize inbred lines and their hybrids in multiple environments, published in Crop Science, and accessible here.  

Badu-Apraku, B. and Akinwale, R. O. 2019. Biplot analysis of line X tester data of maize (Zea mays L.) inbred lines under stress and nonstress environments. Published in Cereal Research Communications, volume 47, number 3, and accessible here.

Oyinbo, O., Mbavai, J. J., Shitu, M. B., Kamara, A., Abdoulaye, T. and Ugbabe, O. O. 2019. Sustaining the beneficial effects of maize production in Nigeria: does adoption of short season maize varieties matter?  Published in Experimental Agriculture, and accessible here  

Kadjo, D., Ricker-Gilbert, J., Shively, G. and Abdoulaye, T. 2019. Food safety and adverse selection in rural maize markets. Published in Journal of Agricultural Economics, and accessible here .

Assfaw Wossen, T., Alene, A., Abdoulaye, T., Feleke, S. and Manyong, V. 2019. Agricultural technology adoption and household welfare: measurement and evidence, published in Food Policy, and accessible here  

Scoring new drought tolerant CIMMYT lines in Kiboko 5 Sept 2019

Posted on Activities, Eastern Africa News, galleries, Media&Stories, PhotoStories, Research News, September 12, 2019

CIMMYT breeders selecting new CIMMYT line candidates in stage 4, scoring hybrid entries according to their drought tolerance in Kiboko research station – 5 September 2019

CIMMYT breeders scoring DT maize in Kiboko 5 September 2019
CIMMYT breeders scoring DT maize in Kiboko 5 September 2019
CIMMYT breeder scoring DT maize in Kiboko
CIMMYT breeder scoring DT maize in Kiboko
Suresh and Aparna ranking DT maize entries in Kiboko 5 Sept 2019
Suresh and Aparna ranking DT maize entries in Kiboko 5 Sept 2019
Cob not well covered by husk is prone to attacks Kiboko Sept 2019
Cob not well covered by husk is prone to attacks Kiboko Sept 2019
Stay green entry 52 DT maize in Kiboko
Stay green entry 52 DT maize in Kiboko 5 Sept 2019
Entry 42 DT maize cob in Kiboko
Entry 42 maize cob in Kiboko
Entry 42 during CIMMYT DT line evaluation in Kiboko Sept 2019
Checking grain filling in DT maize cob in Kiboko Sept 2019
Checking grain filling in DT maize cob in Kiboko Sept 2019
Staygreen late maturity hybrid in Kiboko Sept 2019
Staygreen late maturity hybrid in Kiboko Sept 2019
a good low N maize hybrid
Good low N maize hybrid in Kiboko
Comparison between maize that respond well to low N and commercial check
Comparison between good and bad low N maize
Shelling Low N maize cobs in Kiboko for yield measurement
Shelling low N maize cobs in Kiboko
Weighing low N maize trial
weighing low N maize trial
Close tip Maize cob in CIMMYT DT line evaluation in Kiboko

Digital imaging tools make maize breeding much more efficient

Posted on Media&Stories, News, Research News, March 14, 2019

To accelerate annual genetic gains under various stress conditions, maize breeders are looking at cost-effective ways to assess a larger number of maize plants and to collect more accurate data related to key plant characteristics like kernel number and size per ear, leaf angles or ear heights.


Measuring maize attributes such as ear size, kernel number and kernel weight is becoming faster and simpler through digital imaging technologies.

Recent innovations in digital imagery and sensors, packaged in what plant scientists call high-throughput phenotyping platforms, save money and time by replacing lengthy paper-based visual observations of crop trials with real-time big data collection and management.

Authors of a recent review study on high-throughput phenotyping tools observe that obtaining accurate and inexpensive estimates of genetic value of individuals is central to breeding. Under the Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa project, researchers like Mainassara Zaman-Allah use drone and create new digital tools, like the ear analyzer, for cheaper and faster plant selection. Drone cuts data collection costs by 25 to 75 percent compared to conventional methods.  The ear analyzer allows to collect maize ear and kernel trait data 90 percent faster. This mobile app has been used by CIMMYT and the GOAL NGO to assess the extent of fall armyworm impact on maize crops yield in eastern Zimbabwe.

Read more about how STMA makes maize breeding faster and cheaper here

Setimela P, Zaman-Allah MA, Gasura E, Cairns JE, Thierfelder T, Prasanna BM. 2018. When the going gets tough: performance of stress tolerant maize under conservation agriculture during the 2015/16 El Nino season in southern Africa.

Posted on Published Journals, Research News, Research Publication, Southern Africa Publications, January 23, 2019

Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 268, 79-89. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2018.09.006

Abstract: The 2015/2016El Niño was the most severe on record in southern Africa and was associated with drought and heat stress. To help farmers to cope with such extreme production constraints the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), has been developing multiple stress tolerant maize varieties through a rapid-cycle breeding strategy. These CIMMYT stress tolerant maize hybrids were evaluated using two types of trials. The first one comprised a regional on-farm trial with forty maize varieties (20 early-intermediate and 20 intermediate-late varieties), planted across 30 locations in four countries in southern Africa. The second set comprised a multi-locational evaluation trial with six hybrids that were tested under conventional ridge tillage (CP) and conservation agriculture (CA) using a randomized block design with each farm as replicate in nine extension planning areas (EPA), across two years. CIMMYT stress tolerant varieties outperformed non stress tolerant varieties. CZH142020 (5.6 t ha −1) and CZH131008 (4.8 t ha −1) had significantly higher yield advantage over commercial control varieties (<4.5 t ha −1) in both early and late maturity groups. They also had larger grains and smaller ear uniformity index (EUI) (calculated as among plots ear size variance); compared non-stress tolerant varieties. In the CA/CP evaluation trial, varieties under CA yielded ≥0.7 t ha-1 more grain compared to those under CP. Therefore, combinations of climate-smart agriculture technologies are required to mitigate negative effects of extreme events like El Niño and increase resilience of low-input farming systems.

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