Posts Tagged ‘MLN’

Screening cycle for deadly MLN virus set to begin in Kenya during January 2020

By: L.M. Suresh

Maize plants at the MLN screening facility in Naivasha, Kenya. Photo: Jennifer Johnson.

The maize lethal necrosis (MLN) artificial inoculation screening site in Naivasha, Kenya will begin its phenotyping (screening/ indexing) cycle of 2020 at the beginning of January 2020 and in four other intervals throughout the year. Interested organizations from both the private and public sectors are invited to send maize germplasm for screening.

2019 screening cycle for deadly MLN virus in Kenya – April Planting


Stephen Mugo of CIMMYT explains the MLN screening facility in Naivasha to partners. Photo: Joshua Masinde/CIMMYT.

The maize lethal necrosis (MLN) artificial inoculation screening site in Naivasha, Kenya will begin the second interval of its phenotyping (screening/ indexing) cycle of 2019 at the beginning of April 2019. Interested organizations from both the private and public sectors are invited to send maize germplasm for screening.

International coalition keeps devastating maize disease at bay, but risks still linger

When maize lethal necrosis (MLN) was first reported in Bomet County, Kenya, in September 2011 and spread rapidly to several countries in eastern Africa, agricultural experts feared this emerging maize disease would severely impact regional food security. However, a strong partnership across eight countries between maize research, plant health organizations and the private seed sector has, so far, managed to contain this devastating viral disease, which can wipe out entire maize fields. As another emerging pest, the fall armyworm, is making headlines in Africa, African countries could learn a lot from the initiatives to combat MLN on how to rapidly respond to emerging crop pests and diseases.

New genetic mapping study offers hope of resistance to maize lethal necrosis

Maize crop infected with maize lethal necrosis disease in Kenya. Photo: Florence Sipalla/CIMMYT

A new study from scientists with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE) in Kenya has revealed key information about the genetic basis of maize lethal necrosis (MLN), a disease that has been wreaking havoc on maize crops in eastern Africa since its discovery in the region in 2011.

Maize is the main staple food crop in sub-Saharan Africa and is cultivated on more than 35 million hectares of rain-fed agricultural land, providing sustenance to millions. The MLN disease, caused by a combination of the maize chlorotic mottle virus (MCMV) and sugarcane mosaic virus (SCMV), causes irreversible damage that kills maize plants before they can grow and produce grain. Yield losses from infected fields in Kenya range from 30-100 percent, depending on the stage of disease infection and the prevailing environmental conditions. Such losses dramatically increase the risk of food insecurity in the region and weaken the ability of smallholder farmers to feed their families.