Accepted 6th June, 2015
Surveys were conducted in two main maize (Zea mays L.), producing Counties of Yei and Morobo in Central Equatoria State, South Sudan; during the second cropping season of 2013/14. The objectives were initially to collect maize leaf samples in an ‘ad hoc’ disease monitoring exercise for Maize Lethal Necrosis virus Disease (MLND) which is a new emerging disease problem in the East African Region with especially devastating effects in Kenya and Uganda. Twenty maize fields were chosen randomly for inspection/ sample collection in each County. Symptomatic maize plants infected with Ustilago maydis were noticed, then incorporated into the package as a survey. Results for the survey indicated a mean incidence of 5% for both counties combined. Therefore, at this stage the disease does not pose a threat to the production of corn. However, the study recommends more studies on host range, initiation of a screening program to identify tolerant/ resistant corn varieties putting up strategies for future management of the disease in case it becomes widespread in the Country.
Keywords: Smut, Ustilago maydis, corn, Zea mays (L.), South Sudan