African Crop Science Journal

The AJOL site is currently undergoing a major upgrade, and there will temporarily be some restrictions to the available functionality.
-- Users will not be able to register or log in during this period.
-- Full text (PDF) downloads of Open Access journal articles will be available as always.
-- Full text (PDF) downloads of subscription based journal articles will NOT be available
We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Please check back soon, as we will revert to usual policy as soon as possible.

Cassava brown streak disease effects on leaf metabolites and pigment accumulation

E Nuwamanya, Y Baguma, E Atwijukire, S Acheng, P Abidrabo, C.A. Omongo, T Alicai


Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD) is a threat to productivity and product quality in East Africa. The objective of this study was to understand the effect of CBSD on the primary photosynthetic apparatus of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz). Three cassava varieties with varying levels of reaction to infection by CBSD were chosen and subjected to field disease pressure. Disease progression and the resulting effects on leaf morphology, metabolite and pigment accumulation were assessed over a period of five months, beginning from 3 months after planting. Slight increments in leaf dry matter were observed up to 4 MAP, and there after a drop was registered. A significant (P<0.05) reduction in photosynthetic pigments occured with a fall in the Chla:Chlb and Chla:Carotenoid ratio, indicative of specific reductions in chlorophyll a (-80%) compared to Chlorophyll b (-41 to -62%) and Carotenoid (-11 to -18%). Total reducing sugar and starch content also dropped significantly (-30 and -60%, respectively), much as NASE 14 maintained a relatively higher amount of carbohydrates. Leaf protein levels were significantly reduced at a rate of 0.07 ug g-1 leaf per month in diseased treatments. Significant reductions in primary metabolites show altered leaf photosynthetic and growth metabolism, resulting into a compromised plant system that cannot perform optimally.

Keywords: Carotenoid, leaf metabolites, photosynthesis, protein
AJOL African Journals Online