Elias N.K. Sowley, Ruth A. Ofori, Frederick Kankam


Seed borne fungi constitute a major constraint to maize production and this is aggravated by the use of farmer-saved seeds which may be unhealthy. The study was aimed at testing the efficacy of Cassia alata leaf and neem (Azadirachta indica) seed extracts against seed borne fungi. Maize (Zea mays) seeds were obtained from three farmers in each of ten communities randomly selected from the Tolon-Kumbungu district. Seed borne fungi were isolated from seed samples by plating on PDA. Four fungi belonging to three genera namely Aspergillus niger, A. flavus, Botryodiplodia theobromae and Penicillium digitatum were isolated from the seed samples. These fungi were grown on PDA plates amended with aqueous and ethanol extracts of Cassia alata leaf and neem seed, carbendazim and sodium hypochlorite and their radial growth measured. Ethanol extracts of C. alata leaf and neem seed were similar but had a higher inhibition than their aqueous extracts. Aqueous extract of C. alata leaf inhibited growth to a significantly higher (P<0.05) extent than aqueous neem seed extract. Although ethanol extracts of C. alata leaf and neem seed had a significantly higher (P<0.05) inhibitory effect, aqueous extract of the former was better than the neem seed extract and may therefore be used by farmers in treating their seeds since ethanol is relatively expensive.


Cassia alata, fungi, maize, neem, seed borne

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