Accelerated Breeding of Black Rot Resistant Brassicas for the benefit of East African smallholders

Report of activities to increase the production of black rot resistant brassicas in East Africa.

Year of Publication2009

Brassicas constitute a major component in the diet of East African smallholders and are also a source of income. However, production is constrained by a number of factors including drought, pests and diseases. Black rot caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris is one of the major diseases. Symptoms include v-shaped, chlorotic to necrotic lesions at the margin of leaves and blackened vascular tissues. (Fig 1). Leaves and heads infected by this disease have reduced market value and are unsuitable for storage as they rot quickly. Developing varieties that can tolerate the disease remains the most cost effective approach. Studies have shown that resistance is either non-existent or very rare in B. oleracea (C genome). However, race specific resistance has been shown to be relatively common in other species of the genus. Our efforts are aimed at advancing marker-assisted breeding of broad spectrum black rot resistance from a B. rapa accession into B. oleracea.

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