Reaction of Local Accessions of Cassava to Diseases in Southern Africa
Local accessions of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) are extensively grown in Southern Ghana, where they play an important role in food security of the country. Information on the reaction of these local accessions to major diseases is scanty. This study was conducted to document the reaction of these accessions to diseases. Seventy seven accessions collected from 55 districts in southern Ghana were screened in a high disease pressure
zone for seven years. Several of the accessions cultivated by farmers were found to be susceptible to African cassava mosaic disease (ACMD), cassava bacterial blight (CBB), cassava anthracnose disease (CAD) and brown leaf spot (BLS). Using DNA hybridisation and Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) techniques, a number of accessions were found to be capable of resisting the ACMD virus. Polyporus root rot disease was found on few farms in the Ashanti region. Bud necrosis disease of cassava was found in a number of farms in the humid rain forest areas of Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo regions. Disease control in cassava production was found to be highly limited in all the southern Ghana regions.