Effect of African cassava mosaic disease on morphological characteristics of cassava, Manihot esculenta (Crantz)
Field trials were conducted with 10 improved clones of cassava to study the effect of ACMD on their morphological characteristics. The clones used were: 97 / 4763, 97/2205, 91/02324, 98/0505, M98/0068, 96/1089A, 96/1632, M98/0040, 99/2123 and 97/0162. The parameters measured were plant height, leaf area, number of branches and petiole length. The research revealed differences within the clones for the parameters studied, these differences seemed to be mainly genetic, as they were not positively correlated to the disease incidence and severity. Based on the findings in this research the following recommendations were made. On the basis of their branching pattern, highly branched clones 97 / 2205, 97/4763 and 98 /0505 are recommended for selection. The heavy branches bear a lot of leaves or produce a thick canopy which helps to reduce the need for weeding, and also reduce the effect of loss of leaves that occur due to disease incidence. However, for industrial / mechanized agriculture, clones that are less branched should be selected as they are easier to harvest mechanically. Though there is disadvantage with their small leaf areas; the crops would have to be highly resistant to fungal attack which tends to cause leaf drop that will reduce leaf material for food / starch production (examples of less branching clones are, M98 / 0068, 96/1632,91/02324).
Key Word: African Cassava Mosaic Disease (ACMD), Cassava Mosaic Virus.(CMV)