DETECTION AND IDENTIFICATION OF SEED-BORNE FUNGI OF RICE
A survey was conducted in 2018 in three selected districts in the Western North Region using a structured questionnaire through face-to-face interaction among 230 farmers on their knowledge and perception about fungal seed-borne diseases, and the sources of seeds available to farmers. About 72.7% of the farmers in the selected districts relied on their saved seeds for planting. The percentage of farmers who relied on certified seed usage was increased to 28.3% as compared to the average usage of certified seeds in Ghana (11%).
Twelve (12) seed samples of rice made up of six (6) varieties; AGRA Rice, “Kotoko”, “Agya Amoah”, “Mercy”, “Bossome mmienu” and “Lapete” were randomly collected from rice growing areas in three districts in the Western North region of Ghana were used for seed health test to identify the seed-borne fungi associated with rice seed. Thirteen fungi genera were identified associated with the rice seed samples collected from the three selected districts. Juaboso district had the majority of seed-borne fungi (thirteen) other districts with high fungal levels were Wiawso district (10) and Bodi district (8). The most prevalent fungi were Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger, Bipolaris and Rhizopus. Among the prevalent fungi, the most important pathogens were Bipolaris, Pyricularia, Fusarium, Curvularia and Macrophomina phaseolina. The seed samples were categorized into various forms of discolouration and pathogens were identified to be associated with the various categories. The fungi identified to be associated with the dark brown/brown discolouration of rice seeds were Bipolaris, Fusarium, Macrophomina and Aspergillus. The only fungus identified to be associated with the yellow/pale yellow colour was Bipolaris. Bipolaris, Curvularia, and Botryodiplodia were identified to be associated with the dark spot discolouration. Alternaria and Aspergillus were observed on the greyish white seed discolouration sample.