Masters Graduands September 2020

Grace Achieng Ochieng

Drought is an important abiotic stress in the tropics that highly constrains sorghum production. Sorghum landraces and wild relatives have been known to harbor sources of novel genes but there is hardly any information about their drought tolerance performance during the post flowering period based on the stay green trait. There is need to characterize this stay green expressed drought tolerance and transfer the mapped QTLs into drought susceptible farmer preferred varieties.

Nicoleta Wairimu Muchira

Sorghum is the second most important cereal crop in Kenya with about 144000 tonnes being produced annually. Striga hermonthica a major cause of sorghum yield loss especially in Western and Nyanza regions of the country. Farmers have traditionally managed Striga using cultural methods but the most `effective and practical solution is to develop Striga resistant varieties.


Boswellia sacra is a frankincense-producing tree found in the Arabian Peninsula that includes Oman and southern Somaliland (Northern Somalia). In Somaliland, it is mainly distributed in the Sanaag region including Cel Afweyn where many families depend on its value chain for a living.


Tomato a major vegetable in Kenya’s production is affected by bacterial wilt caused by Ralstonia solanacearum. Losses up to 100% reported with bacterial wilt management strategies not providing sustainable solutions.


Maize (Zea mays L.) is the third most important food crop globally, after rice and wheat. The outbreak of the Maize lethal necrosis (MLN) disease in the Eastern Africa region has threatened production of the crop. Information on interactions of viruses causing MLN with plant parasitic nematodes is lacking. This study was carried out to determine i) the effect interaction of plant parasitic nematodes with viruses causing MLN on disease development in maize fields and ii) the effect of lesion nematodes (Pratylenchus spp.) on disease development in the greenhouse.


Maize lethal necrosis (MLN) in Kenya was reported in 2011 in Bomet County. It’s caused by viruses MCMV and SCMV. The study’s objectives were to identify germplasm with resistance to SCMV and to identify the mode of gene action for tolerance to the virus. 42 parental maize genotypes were planted in a screen house in a completely randomized design, inoculated with SCMV and data on disease severity and incidence collected.