Detecting the severity of maize streak virus infestations in maize crop using in situ hyperspectral data
Maize streak geminivirus (MSV) causes maize streak disease, a major disease limiting maize production over widespread areas of Africa. The use of remote sensing techniques for detecting the MSV infected maize was evaluated in this study. Results illustrate the strength of hyperspectral data in detecting different levels of MSV infection. This study underscores the potential of remotely sensed data in the accurate detection of food crop diseases such as MSV and their severity, which is critical in crop monitoring to foster food security especially in the resource-limited sub-Saharan Africa.
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First Report of Sweet potato badnavirus A and Sweet potato badnavirus B in South Africa
Sweet potato is an important root crop, having significant nutritional and economic value in sub-Saharan countries such as South Africa. Sweet potato badnaviruses were first discovered in Peru using small RNA deep sequencing and were later detected in Tanzania, Honduras, and Guatemala. The authors of this study report detection of sweet potato badnaviruses in plants collected during a survey in the Eastern and Western Cape provinces of South Africa. Future studies are necessary to determine what role badnaviruses play in the etiology of sweet potato disease, because they are known to trigger infections and cause emerging diseases.
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Prevalence of Aflatoxin Contamination in Maize and Groundnut in Ghana: Population Structure, Distribution, and Toxigenicity of the Causal Agents
Aflatoxin contamination in maize and groundnut is perennial in Ghana with substantial health and economic burden on the population. The present study examined for the first time the prevalence of aflatoxin contamination in maize and groundnut in major producing regions across three agroecological zones in Ghana. Out of 509 samples, 35% had detectable levels of aflatoxins. Observed and potential aflatoxin concentrations indicate that on-field aflatoxin management strategies need to be implemented throughout Ghana. The recovered atoxigenic L morphotype fungi are genetic resources that can be employed as biocontrol agents to limit aflatoxin contamination of maize and groundnut in Ghana.
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