Evaluation of Foliar Diseases for Soybean Entries in the Pan-African Trials in Malawi and Zambia

Christabell Nachilima, Godfree Chigeza, Mwila Chibanda, Hapson Mushoriwa, Brian D. Diers, Harun M. Murithi, Glen L. Hartman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Soybean production has expanded worldwide including countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Several national and international agencies and research groups have partnered to improve overall performance of soybean breeding stocks and have introduced new germplasm from Brazil and the United States with the goal of developing new high-yielding cultivars. Part of this effort has been to test improved soybean lines/cultivars accumulated from private and public sources in multilocational trials in sub-Saharan Africa. These trials are known as the Pan-African Soybean Variety Trials, and the entries come from both private and public breeding programs. The objective of this research was to evaluate entries in the trials that include commercial cultivars or advanced experimental lines for the incidence and severity of foliar diseases. All trials were planted in December 2018 with six located in Zambia and one in Malawi. Plants were evaluated during the reproductive growth stages using a visual pretransformed severity rating scale. Foliar disease ratings were recorded for three bacterial diseases, six fungal diseases, one oomycete, and viruses. The overall occurrence of most of the diseases was high except for soybean rust and target spot, which were only found at two and one location, respectively. However, disease severity was generally low, although there were differences in disease severity ratings among the entries at some of the locations for brown spot, downy mildew, frogeye leaf spot, red leaf blotch, and soybean rust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2068-2073
Number of pages6
JournalPlant disease
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Cultivar/resistance
  • Disease management
  • Field crops
  • Fungi
  • Oilseeds and legumes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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