Masters Graduands December 2020


Spider plant (Cleome gynandra L.) is one of the ALVs with a great potential for improving food security and income among rural and urban resource-poor communities. However, its productivity is low partly due to lack of suitable varieties, poor soil fertility, drought stress and poor agronomic practices.


Understanding seed biology and germination ecology of plants is critical for domestication of neglected and underutilized species (NUS). However, this information is not readily available for Tylosema fassoglense [Family: Fabaceae]; despite its potential as a future crop.

Rachael Wambui Wachira

Root rot complex is a major biotic constraint to bean productivity in Western Kenya caused by synergistic associations of different soil borne fungal pathogens. It is aggravated by infestations of bean stem maggot and is severe in acidic soils whose fertility is low. The disease causes poor seedling emergence, low plant establishment and yield losses of up to 70%. Management of root rot by seed dressing with fungicides has a short-lived effect of two to three weeks after sowing while disease tolerant varieties are few.

Arnet Nyambura Kuria

Northern leaf blight (NLB) is a major foliar disease caused by fungus Exserohilum turcicum that leads to limited production of cereals in the Sub-Saharan Africa. The disease lowers production of maize up to 80%, threatening food security in the region.


Mycotoxins such as aflatoxins and fumonisins are prevalent contaminants of maize, which is a major staple food in Kenya. Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus parasiticus and Fusarium verticilloides are the major producers of carcinogenic aflatoxins and fumonisin