Tulole L. Bucheyeki, Pangirayi Tongoona, John Derera, Suzan Nchimbi-Msolla


The northern leaf blight disease occurrence, intensity, distribution and resurgence in Tanzania have signalled attention to maize breeders. A clear understanding of its disease genetics, mode of gene actions and heritability plays significant roles in the successful designing breeding strategies and control. Gene actions and heritability provides information on choosing the appropriate breeding methods to be employed.  Therefore, this review aimed at bridging the disease genetics information and the practical application of breeding methods to be employed by breeders in fields. Information gathered here are important tools to breeders for selection of the best breeding methods that are used to impart resistance to northern leaf blight disease in maize.


Gene actions; Helminthosporium turcicum; maize resistance; resurgence

Full Text:



Adipala, E., P.E.Lipps, and L.V.Madden. 1993. Effect of disease assessment methods on predicting yield loss due to northern leaf blight of maize. African Crop Science Journal 2:167-178.

Adipala, E., J.P. Takan, and M.W. Ogenga-Latigo. 1995. Effect of planting density of maize on the progress and spread of northern leaf blight from Exserohilum turcicum infested residue source. European Journal of Plant Pathology 101:25-33.

Amusa, N.A., J.E. Iken, and J.O. Fayenuwo. 2005. The incidence of field diseases and vertebrate pests on popcorn (Zea mays everta) varieties cultivated in forest agro-ecologies of Nigeria. World Journal of Agricultural Sciences 1:173-177.

Aquino, P., F.Carrion., R.Calvo, and D.Flores. 2001. Selected maize statistics. In: Pingali, P. (ed.) CIMMYT 1999- 2000 World Maize Facts and Trends. Meeting maize needs: Technological Opportunities and Priorities for the Public Sector: CIMMYT, Mexico, D.F. Pp 45-60.

Bacon, C.W., I.E.Yates., D.M.Hinton, and F.Meredith. 2001. Biological control of Fusarium moniliforme in maize. Environmental Health Perspectives 109:325-332.

Bisanda, S., W. Mwangi., H. Verkuijl., A.J. Moshi, and P. Anandajayasekeram. 1998. Adoption of maize production technologies in the southern highlands of Tanzania. Mexico, D.F: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Southern Africa Centre for Cooperation in Agricultural Research (SACCAR).

Boland, G.J., M.S. Melzer., A. Hopkin., V. Higgins, and A. Nassuth. 2004. Climate change and plant diseases in Ontario. Canadian Journal of Plant Patholology 26:335–350.

Brewster, V.A., M.L. Carson, and Z.W. Wicks. 1992. Mapping components of partial resistance to northern leaf blight of maize using reciprocal translocation. Phytopathology 82:225- 229.

Campaña, A., and J.K. Pataky. 2005. Frequency of the Ht1 gene in populations of sweet corn selected for resistance to Exserohilum turcicum race 1. Phytopathology 95:85-91.

Carson, M.L. 1995. Inheritance of latent period length in maize infected with Exserohilum turcicum. Plant Diseases 79:581-585.

Carson, M.L. 2001. Inheritance of resistance to Phaeosphaeria leaf spot of maize. Plant Diseases 85:798-800.

Ceballos, H., J.A. Deutsch, and H. Gutiérrez. 1991. Recurrent selection for resistance to Exserohilum turcicum in eight subtropical maize populations. Crop Science 31:964-971.

Chakraborty, S., A.V. Tiedemann, and P.S. Teng. 2000. Climate change: potential impact on plant diseases. Environmental Pollution 108:317-326.

Chaudhar, B., and V.P. Mani. 2010. Genetic analysis of resistance to turcicum leaf blight in semi temperate early maturing genotypes of maize (Zea mays). Indian Journal of Genetics 70:65-70.

Christie, B.R., and V.I. Shattuck. 1992. The diallel cross: design, analysis, and use for plant breeders. In: Plant Breeding Reviews 9: 9 - 36.

CIMMYT. 2002. CIMMYT-Kenya annual report 2002. Mexico, D.F.

CIMMYT. 2004. A guide for field identification. 4th ed. Mexico, D.F.

CPC. 2001. (Crop protection compendium) 2001 edition. CAB International. Wallingford, UK.

Dabholkar, R.R. 1992. Elements of biometrical genetics. Ashok Kumar Mittal Concept Publishing Company, New Delhi.

Dingerdissen, A.L., H.H. Geiger., M. Lee., A.Schechert, and H.G. Welz. 1996. Internal mapping of genes for quantitative resistance of maize to Setosphaeria turcica, cause of northern leaf blight, in a tropical environment. Molecular Breeding 2:143-156.

Doss, C.R., W. Mwangi, H. Verkuijl, and H. deGroote. 2003. Adoption of maize and wheat technologies in eastern Africa: A synthesis of the findings of 22 case studies CIMMYT Economics Working Paper 03-06. Mexico, D.F.: CIMMYT.

Durga, K.K., S.R. B.V, M.S.S. Reddy, and M. Ganesh. 2008. Influence of cytoplasm on the occurrence of leaf blight (Exserohilum turcicum) (Pass) in sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) (L.) Moench. Indian Journal of Agricultural Research 42:97-2008.

Duvick, D.N. 2011. Biotechnology in the 1930s: the development of hybrid maize. National Review Genetics 2:69–74.

Elliott, C., and M.T. Jenkins. 1946. Helminthosporium turcicum leaf blight of corn. Phytopathology 36:660-666.

Ferguson, L.M., and M.L. Carson. 2004. Spatial diversity of Setosphaeria turcica sampled from the eastern United States. Phytopathology 94:892-900.

Ferguson, L.M., and M.L. Carson. 2007. Temporal variation in Setosphaeria turcica between 1974 and 1994 and origin of Races 1, 23, and 23N in the United States. Phytopathology 97:1501-1511.

Frank, T.E., and A.R. Hallauer. 1997. Generation means analysis of the twin-ear trait in maize. Journal of Heredity 88:469-474.

Freymark, P.J., M.Lee., W.L.Woodman, and C.A.Martinson. 1993. Quantitative and qualitative trait loci affecting host-plant response to Exserohilum turcicum in maize (Zea mays L.). TAG Theoretical and Applied Genetics 87:537-544.

Geisler, G. 1992. Who is losing out? Structural adjustment, gender, and the agricultural sector in Zambia. The Journal of Modern African Studies 30:113-139.

Godfray, H.C.J., C.J. Briggs., N.D. Barlow., M. O'Callaghan., T.R. Glare, and T.A. Jackson. 1999. A model of insect-pathogen dynamics in which a pathogenic bacterium can also reproduce saprophytically. Proceedings: Biological Sciences 266:233-240.

Griefenhagen, S., and T.L. Noland. 2003. A synopsis of known and potential diseases and parasites associated with climate change. Ontario Forest Research Institute, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Sault Ste Marie, Ont., Forest Research Information Paper No. 154.

Griffing, J.B. 1956. Concept of general and specific combining ability in relation to diallel crossing systems. Australian Journal of Biological Science 9:463-493.

Gupta, S., and S. Kageyama. 1994. Optimal complete diallel crosses. Biometrika 81: 420 - 424.

Gwanama, C., and K. Nichterlein. 1995. Importance of cucurbits to small-scale farmers in Zambia. Zambia Journal of Agricultural Science 5:5-9.

Hayman, B.J. 1954. The theory and analysis of diallel crosses. Genetics 30:789-809.

Hettiarachchi, K., B.M. Prasanna, A. Rajan, O.N. Singh, K.T.P. Gowda, S.K. Pant, and S. Kumar. 2009. Generation mean analysis of Turcicum leaf blight resistance in maize. Indian Journal of Genetics 69:102-108.

Hughes, G.R., and A.L. Hooker. 1971. Gene action conditioning resistance to northern leaf blight in maize. Crop Science 11:180-184.

Jawaharlal, J., R.G. Lakshmikantha, and K.R. Sai. 2011. Genetic variability and character association studies in maize. Agricultural Science Digest 31:173-177.

Jean, M.D., and H.G. Christina. 1991. Impacts of structural adjustment programs on African women farmers and female-headed households. American Agricultural Economics Association 73:1431-1439.

Jenkins, M.T., and A.L. Robert. 1952. Inheritance of resistance to the leaf blight of maize caused by Helminthosporium turcicum. Agronomy Journal 46:438-442.

Jenks, M.A., R.J. Joly., P.J. Peters., P.J. Rich., J.D. Axtell, and E.N. Ashworth. 1994. Chemically induced cuticle mutation affecting epidermal conductance to water vapor and disease susceptibility in Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench. Plant Physiolology 105:1239-1245.

Jutsum, A.R., J.M.Franz., J.W.Deacon., C.C.Payne., T.Lewis., R.R. M.Paterson., J.K.Waage, and H.F.Van-Emden. 1988. Commercial application of biological control: Status and prospects [and discussion]. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences 318:357-373.

Kaliba, A.R.M., H. Verkuijl., W. Mwangi., A.J.T. Mwilawa, and P. Anandajayasekeram. 1998. Adoption of maize production technologies in central Tanzania. Mexico, D.F.: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Southern Africa Centre for Cooperation in Agricultural Research (SACCAR).

Kanampiu, F.K., V. Kabambe, C. Massawe, L. Jasi, D. Friesen, J.K. Ransom, and J. Gressel. 2003. Multi-site, multi-season field tests demonstrate that herbicide seed-coating herbicide-resistance maize controls Striga spp. and increases yields in several African countries. Crop Protection 22:697-706.

Katinila, N., H. Verkuijl., W. Mwangi, and P. Anandajayasekeram. 1998. Adoption of maize production technologies in Southern Tanzania. Mexico, D.F: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Southern Africa Centre for Cooperation in Agricultural Research (SACCAR).

Kimaro, A.A., V. R.Timmer., S.A. O.Chamshama., A. G.Mugasha, and D. A.Kimaro. 2008. Differential response to tree fallows in rotational woodlot systems in semi-arid Tanzania: Post-fallow maize yield, nutrient uptake, and soil nutrients. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 125:73-83.

Levy, Y. 1989. Analysis of epidemics of northern leaf blight on sweet corn in Israel. Phytopathology 79:1243-1245.

Levy, Y., and Y. Cohen. 1983. Biotic and environmental factors affecting infection of sweet corn with Exserohilum turcicum. Phytopathology 73:722-725.

Lingam, S.S., K.A. Balasubramanian, and P.R. Ram Reddy. 1989. Nature and type of gene action governing resistance to Helminthosporium turcicum leaf blight in maize (Zea mays L.). Genetica 79:121-127.

Lipps, P.E., R.C. Pratt, and J.J. Hakiza. 1997. Interaction of Ht and partial resistance to Exserohilum turcicum in maize. Plant Disease 81:277-282.

Makurira, H., H.H. G.Savenije., S.Uhlenbrook., J.Rockstrom, and A.Senzanje. 2007. Towards a better understanding of water partitioning processes for improved smallholder rainfed agricultural systems: A case study of Makanya catchment, Tanzania. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C 32:1082-1089.

Matthews, G., T. Wiles, and P. Baleguel. 2003. A survey of pesticide application in Cameroon. Crop Protection 22:707-714.

Morris, M.L. 2001. Assessing the benefits of international maize breeding researches: An overview of the global maize impact study. In: Pingali, P. (ed.) CIMMYT 1999 - 2000 World maize facts and trends. Meeting maize needs: Technological opportunities and priorities for the public sector: CIMMYT,Mexico, D.F.

Mwakalobo, A., and A. Kashuliza. 1999. Smallholder farming systems in a liberalized market environment in Tanzania: Some empirical analysis in some areas of Mbeya region. Agricultural Economists Society of Tanzania (AGREST) conference proceedings Series volume 2.

Mwangi, S.M. 1998. Status of northern leaf blight, Phaeosphaeria maydis leaf spot, southern leaf blight, rust, maize streak virus and physiologic specialization of Exserohilum turcicum in Kenya. PhD thesis. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA.

Nathaniels, N.Q.R., and A. Mwijage. 2000. Seed fairs and the case of Malambo village, Nachingwea district, Tanzania: Implications of local informal seed supply and variety development for research and extension. Net Work Paper No 101. 1-8.

Nkonya, E., P. Xavery., H. Akonaay., W. Mwangi, P. Anandajayasekeram, H. Verkuijl., D. Martella, and A. Moshi. 1998. Adoption of maize production technologies in northern Tanzania. Mexico, D.F: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), The United Republic of Tanzania, and the Southern African Center for Cooperation in Agricultural Research (SACCAR).

Nyadzi, G.I., R.M.Otsyina., F.M.Banzi., S.S.Bakengesa., B.M.Gama., L.Mbwambo, and D.Asenga. 2003. Rotational woodlot technology in northwestern Tanzania: Tree species and crop performance. Agroforestry Systems 59:253-263.

Ogliari, J.B., M.A. Guimarães, I.O. Geraldi, and L.E.A. Camargo. 2005. New resistance genes in the Zea mays: Exserohilum turcicum pathosystem. Genetics and Molecular Biology 28:435-439.

Ojulong, H.F., E. Adipala, and P.R. Rubaihayo. 1996. Diallel analysis for reaction to Exserohilum turcicum of maize cultivars and crosses. African Crop Science Journal 1:19-27.

Okori, P. 2004. Population studies of Cercospora zeae-maydis and related Cercospora fungi. Doctoral thesis. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala.

Pataky, J.K., R.N. Raid., L.J.d. Toit, and T.J. Schueneman. 1998. Disease severity and yield of sweet corn hybrids with resistance to northern leaf blight. Plant Disease 82:57-63.

Pixley, K.V., T. Dhliwayo, and P. Tongoona. 2006. Improvement of a maize population by full-sib selection alone versus full-sib with selection during Inbreeding. Crop Science 46:1130-1136.

Pratt, R.C. 2006. Breeding for resistance to maize foliar pathogens. p.119-173. In J. Janick (ed.). Plant breeding reviews vol.27. John Wiley and sons, Inc.,Hoboken, New Jersey, USA.

Pratt, R.C., P.E. Lipps., F. Ssango., J.J. Hakiza, and E. Adipala. 1997. Inheritance of race-nonspecific resistance to Exserohilum turcicum in maize synthetic population OhS10. African Crop Science Journal 1:55-63.

Raymundo, A.D., and A.L. Hooker. 1981. Measuring the relationship between northern corn leaf blight and yield losses. Plant Diseases 65:325-327.

Reis, A., N.S.S. Silveira., S.J. Michereff., G.F.A. Pereira, and R.L.R. Mariano. 1994. Bacillus subtilis as a potential biocontrol agent of the northern leaf blight of corn. Revista de Microbiologia 25:255-260.

Reuveni, R., and M. Reuveni. 1998. Foliar-fertilizer therapy: A concept in integrated pest management. Crop Protection 17:111-118.

Robinson, R.A. 1987. Host management in crop pathosystems. Macmillan Publishing Company, New York.

Robinson, R.A. 2004. Amateur plant breeder’s handbook. 1st ed. Sharebooks.Ontario, Canada.

Schechert, A.W., H.G. Welz, and H.H. Geiger. 1999. QTL for resistance to Setosphaeria turcica in tropical African maize. Crop Science 39:514-523.

Sharma, R.C., and M.M. Payak. 1990. Durable resistance to two leaf blights in two maize inbred lines. TAG Theoretical and Applied Genetics 80:542-544.

Sharma, R.C., and E. Duveiller. 2004. Effect of helminthosporium leaf blight on performance of timely and late-seeded wheat under optimal and stressed levels of soil fertility and moisture. Field Crops Research 89:205-218.

Shelepchikov, A.A., V.V. Shenderyuk, E.S. Brodsky, D. Feshin, L.P. Baholdina, and S.K. Gorogankin. 2008. Contamination of Russian Baltic fish by polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, dibenzofurans and dioxin-like biphenyls. Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology 25:136-143.

Sigulas, K.M., R.R.Jr.Hill, and J.E. Ayers. 1988. Genetic analysis of Exserohilum turcicum lesion expansion on corn. Phytopathology 78:149-153.

Singh, R., V.P. Mani., K.S. Koranga., G.S. Bisht., R.S. Khandewal., P. Bhandari, and S.K. Pant. 2004. Identification of additional sources of resistance to Exserohilum turcicum in maize (Zea mays L.). SABRAO Journal of Breeding and Genetics 36:45 - 47.

Smale, M., and H. DeGroote. 2003. Diagnostic research to enable adoption of transgenic crop varieties by smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. African Journal of Biotechnology 2:586-595.

Stanfield, W.D. 1991. Schaum`s outline of theory and problems of genetics, 3rd Edition. McGraw - Hill, New York, U.S.A

Stuber, C.W. 1980. Mating designs, field nursery layouts, and breeding records. In: Fehr, W.R. and H. Henry (eds.). Hybridisation of crop plants, Pp 83 - 104.

Welz, H.G., and H.H. Geiger. 2000. Review of genes for resistance to northern corn leaf blight in diverse maize populations. Plant Breeding 119:1-14.

Welz, H.G., X.C. Xia, P. Bassetti, A.E. Melchinger, and T. Lübberstedt. 1999. QTLs for resistance to Setosphaeria turcica in an early maturing dent × flint maize population. TAG Theoretical and Applied Genetics 99:649-655.

Wisser, R.J., P.J. Balint-Kurt, and R.J. Nelson. 2006. The genetic architecture of disease resistance in maize: A synthesis of published studies. Phytopathology 96:120-129.

Wisser, R.J., S.C. Murray., J.M. Kolkman, H. Ceballos and R.J. Nelson. 2008. Selection mapping of loci for quantitative disease resistance in a diverse maize population. Genetics Society of America 180:583-599.


  • There are currently no refbacks.


Journal of Plant Breeding and Genetics

ISSN: 2305-297X (Online), 2308-121X (Print)

© ESci Journals Publishing. All Rights Reserved.