Posts Tagged ‘drought tolerance’

Latest STMA Bulletin is out

Posted on dtma, Eastern Africa News, Eastern Africa News, Eastern Africa Publications, general, Media&Stories, Milestone Reports, News release, Newsletter, Newsletters, Publications, Reports, Research News, Research Publication, Seed System News, Seed System Publication, Seed Systems, Southern Africa News, Southern Africa Publications, Southern Africa Publications, West Africa News, West Africa Publications, May 14, 2020

Read the latest news from the just concluded Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa (STMA) initiative. This issue highlights the impact the project has had on farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, how it has helped build resilience of Africa’s smallholder farmers and how the improved maize varieties will enable partners to reach farmers on time to plant and produce maize during the COVID-19 crisis in different countries in SSA. You will also get to read about farmers getting an opportunity to select the stress tolerant varieties they prefer and why varietal taste matters.

Download the bulletin here.

Street theater amplifies need for stress tolerant maize varieties

Posted on Media&Stories, News, News Articles, West Africa News, West Africa Publications, January 7, 2020

The Stress Tolerant Maize in Africa (STMA) project team in Nigeria used street theater to drum up messages on how to mitigate stresses affecting maize production in the country. The messages targeted mainly the youth, informing them that with the right stress-resilient seed varieties and the application of recommended agronomic practices, they can turn farming into a lucrative and livelihood improving enterprise. The messages were developed by the STMA team in collaboration with the Adopted Village Project of the National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS), the Nigerian Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (NIFAAS) and the Theatre and Performing Arts Department of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

Local artistes in Nigeria perform songs, dance and drama at different markets and streets to create awareness on the benefits of adopting stress resilient maize seed varieties.

Local troupes displayed their skills in song, dance and drama to relay messages on the need for youth to venture into climate-smart agriculture to overcome challenges of drought, current and emerging pests and diseases, as well as improve their yield.

The artistes amplified the benefits of adopting stress resilient maize seed varieties.

Seven such performances were enacted at various markets and streets in Nigeria between August and November 2019. The theme of the street performance was, “Smart people, smart farming”. Since 2017, the STMA team has effectively used this unique campaign method to mobilize communities in rural areas to take adopt stress tolerant maize seed varieties for improved yields and livelihoods.

Yield gains and associated changes in an early yellow bi-parental maize population following genomic selection for Striga resistance and drought tolerance

Posted on , November 30, 2019

Background: Maize yield potential is rarely maximized in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) due to the devastating effects of drought stress and Striga hermonthica parasitism. This study was conducted to determine the gains in grain yield and associated changes in an early-maturing yellow bi-parental maize population (TZEI 17 x TZEI 11) F3 following genomic selection (GS) for improved grain yield, Striga resistance and drought tolerance. Fifty S1 lines were extracted from each of cycles C0,C 1,C 2 and C3 of the population and crossed to a tester TZEI 23 to generate 200 testcrosses. The testcrosses were evaluated under drought, artificial Striga-infested and optimal (free from Striga infestation and without limitation of water and nitrogen) environments in Nigeria, 2014-2017. Results: Gains in grain yield of 498kgha− 1 cycle− 1 (16.9% cycle− 1) and 522kgha−1 cycle− 1 (12.6% cycle− 1) were obtained under Striga-infested and optimal environments, respectively. The yield gain under Striga-infested environments was associated with increased plant and ear heights as well as improvement in root lodging resistance, husk cover, ear aspect and Striga tolerance. Under optimal environments, yield gain was accompanied by increase in plant and ear heights along with improvement of husk cover and ear rot resistance. In contrast, genomic selection did not improve grain yield under drought but resulted in delayed flowering, poor pollen-silk synchrony during flowering and increased ear height. Genetic variances and heritabilities for most measured traits were not significant for the selection cycles under the research environments. Ear aspect was a major contributor to grain yield under all research environments and could serve as an indirect selection criterion for simultaneous improvement of grain yield under drought, Striga and optimal environments. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that genomic selection was effective for yield improvement in the bi-parental maize population under Striga-infested environments and resulted in concomitant yield gains under optimal environments. However, due to low genetic variability of most traits in the population, progress from further genomic selection could only be guaranteed if new sources of genes for Striga resistance and drought tolerance are introgressed into the population.

Keywords: Genomic selection, Striga resistance, Drought tolerance, Maize, Testcrosses

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