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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.01461

Alternative Approaches For Assessing Cassava Brown Streak Root Necrosis To Guide Resistance Breeding And Selection

  • 1National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI), Uganda
  • 2National Agricultural Research Organisation, Uganda
  • 3Cornell University, United States

Cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) caused by the rapidly evolving cassava brown streak viruses (CBSVs), causes immense yield losses to the cassava value chain in eastern and southern Africa. Western Africa, another region that heavily depends on cassava is under eminent threat from CBSD. Resistance breeding is the best practical solution. However, complexities associated with CBSD resistance screening i.e., variable root sampling units, limit systematic attainment of genetic progress. Accordingly, we compared efficiency of five CBSD root necrosis assessment methods to guide selection: cassava brown streak disease root incidence (CBSDRi), cassava brown streak disease root severity (CBSDRs), cassava brown streak disease root severity computed as harmonic mean (CBSD-Harmonic), proportion-based root necrosis index (CBSD-proportion) and standardized root necrosis index (CBSD-standardized). The indexes (CBSD-proportion and CBSD-standardized) correct for variable sample size. We analyzed CBSD root necrosis data of 256 clones evaluated across 12 environments. Higher and variable standard errors were associated with root severity score 1 (no CBSD root necrosis). Lowest and highest plot-based heritability were respectively registered for CBSD-standardized (0.22) and CBSD-proportion (0.71). CBSDRs was only positively correlated with CBSDRi (r =0.92) and CBSD-Harmonic (r = 0.97). Using best linear unbiased predictions (BLUPs), we ranked the top 15 CBSD resistant clones; only one clone (UG130014) featured in all the five assessment methods; two clones (UG130006 and UG120156) featured in four (CBSD-Harmonic, CBSDRi, CBSDRs, and CBSD-standardized); and five clones (UG120180, UG120063, UG130002, UG130033 and UG120183) featured in three methods (CBSD-Harmonic, CBSDRi, and CBSDRs). Influence of sample size was also quantified by sub-setting and analyzing CBSDRs data to have plots with at least 40 or 30 roots. Data stabilization was evident in plots with 30 roots. The significant influence of root sample sizes on overall ranking of clones, justifies the use of CBSD root necrosis indexes in early selection stages i.e., seedling and/or clonal trials, that are often characterized by high variations in roots assessed per plot. It is expected that this information will provide a foundation for harmonizing and/or optimizing on-going and future CBSD resistance breeding efforts.

Keywords: Breeding, Cassava brown streak disease (CBSD), Necrosis, Resistance, virus

Received: 13 May 2019; Accepted: 21 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Kawuki, Esuma, Ozimati, Kayondo, Nandudu and Wolfe. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Robert S. Kawuki, National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI), Kampala, Uganda,