Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization

Embu, Kenya

Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization

Embu, Kenya
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University of Nairobi, Trek Science and Kenya Agricultural And Livestock Research Organization | Date: 2017-03-22

This invention relates to antimicrobial compositions and methods of making and using such antimicrobial compositions. Components of the antimicrobial compositions are obtained from the whole broth product of fermentation of cultures of Xenorhabdus griffiniae XN45, or are derived from materials so obtained. In an aspect, compositions and methods for controlling antibiotic resistant bacteria are provided.


Sennhenn A.,University of Gottingen | Njarui D.M.G.,Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization | Maass B.L.,University of Gottingen | Whitbread A.M.,University of Gottingen | Whitbread A.M.,Indian International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics
Frontiers in Plant Science | Year: 2017

Climate variability is the major risk to agricultural production in semi-arid agroecosystems and the key challenge to sustain farm livelihoods for the 500 million people who inhabit these areas worldwide. Short-season grain legumes have great potential to address this challenge and help to design more resilient and productive farming systems. However, grain legumes display a great diversity anddiffer widely in growth, development, and resource use efficiency. Three contrasting short season grain legumes common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.] and lablab [Lablab purpureus (L.) Sweet] were selected to assess their agricultural potential with respect to climate variability and change along the Machakos-Makueni transect in semi-arid Eastern Kenya. This was undertaken using measured data [a water response trial conducted during 2012/13 and 2013/14 in Machakos, Kenya] and simulated data using the Agricultural Production System sIMulator (APSIM). The APSIM crop model was calibrated and validated to simulate growth and development of short-season grain legumes in semi-arid environments. Water use efficiency (WUE) was used as indicator to quantify the production potential. The major traits of adaptation include early flowering and pod and seed set before the onset of terminal drought. Early phenology together with adapted canopy architecture allowed more optimal water use and greater partitioning of dry matter into seed (higher harvest index). While common bean followed a comparatively conservative strategy of minimizing water loss through crop transpiration, the very short development time and compact growth habit limited grain yield to rarely exceed 1,000kg ha−1. An advantage of this strategy was relatively stable yields independent of in-crop rainfall or season length across the Machakos-Makueni transect. The growth habit of cowpea in contrast minimized water loss through soil evaporation with rapid ground cover and dry matter production, reaching very high grain yields at high potential sites (3,000kg ha−1) but being highly susceptible to in-season drought. Lablab seemed to be best adapted to dry environments. Its canopy architecture appeared to be best in compromising between the investment in biomass as a prerequisite to accumulate grain yield by minimizing water loss through soil evaporation and crop transpiration. This lead to grain yields of up to 2,000kg ha−1 at high potential sites and >1,000kg ha−1 at low potential sites. The variance of observed and simulated WUE was high and no clear dependency on total rainfall alone was observed for all three short-season grain legumes, highlighting that pattern of water use is also important in determining final WUEbiomass and WUEgrain . Mean WUEgrain was lowest for cowpea (1.5–3.5kggrain ha−1 mm−1) and highest for lablab (5–7kggrain ha−1 mm−1) reflecting the high susceptibility to drought of cowpea and the good adaptation to dry environments of lablab. Results highlight that, based on specific morphological, phonological, and physiological characteristics, the three short-season grain legumes follow different strategies to cope with climate variability. The climate-smart site-specific utilization of the three legumes offers promising options to design more resilient and productive farming systems in semi-arid Eastern Kenya. © 2017 Sennhenn, Njarui, Maass and Whitbread.


Wakhungu C.N.,Egerton University | Tabu I.M.,Egerton University | Otaye O.D.,Egerton University | Wasike W.V.,Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization
Archives of Phytopathology and Plant Protection | Year: 2017

A study was carried out to determine Fusarium wilt distribution in Bambara nut farmers’ fields and its management using farm yard manure (FYM). Four villages in Busia County were purposively sampled for the study. The data generated were subjected to analysis of variance and treatment means separated by least significant difference test. Fusarium wilt incidence in the fields ranged from 14.63 to 43.56%. In the greenhouse, FYM reduced the disease incidence by 10.2% and severity by 9.5% on the black landrace and 1.9 and 12.8%, respectively, on the red landrace. In the field, FYM reduced disease incidence by 9.1% and severity by 6.9% on the black landrace and 10.4 and 10.4%, respectively, on the red landrace. Farm yard manure had the lowest area under disease progress curve irrespective of the landrace. The study confirmed the presence of the pathogen in the fields and the ability to manage the disease using FYM. © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


PubMed | International Center for Tropical Agriculture, University of New England of Australia, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization and Grains Research and Development Corporation
Type: | Journal: Journal of the science of food and agriculture | Year: 2016

Low rainfall is a major limitation to expanding the dairy industry in semi-arid environments in East Africa. In such dry areas, plants need to keep their tissues hydrated and stomata open for carbon exchange and to grow. On this basis, we assessed the productivity of 10 lines of Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum Schum.), which formed three yield clusters: low yielding (LYC), moderate yielding (MYC), and high yielding (HYC), in a wet highland (Muguga) and semi-arid lowland (Katumani) of Kenya. Stomatal conductance (gThe plants were less stressed at Muguga, where gThe three water stress indices were poor, whereas vigorous early canopy development (determined as LAI) was a more reliable predictor of productivity potential of Napier grasses. In these dry environments, therefore, early rapid canopy development can be an effective indicator of yield potential and a credible selection criterion. 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.


PubMed | Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization and Leibniz University of Hanover
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Insects | Year: 2015

Western flower thrips (WFT), Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande), is an important pest of vegetable crops worldwide and has developed resistance to many insecticides. The predatory mites Neoseiulus (=Amblyseius) cucumeris (Oudemans), the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae (Metsch.), and an insecticide (imidacloprid) were tested for their efficacy to reduce WFT population density and damage to French bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) pods under field conditions in two planting periods. Metarhizium anisopliae was applied as a foliar spray weekly at a rate of one litre spray volume per plot while imidacloprid was applied as a soil drench every two weeks at a rate of two litres of a mixture of water and imidacloprid per m. Neoseiulus cucumeris was released every two weeks on plant foliage at a rate of three mites per plant. Single and combined treatment applications reduced WFT population density by at least three times and WFT damage to French bean pods by at least 1.7 times compared with untreated plots. The benefit-cost ratios in management of WFT were profitable with highest returns realized on imidacloprid treated plots. The results indicate that M. anisopliae, N. cucumeris, and imidacloprid have the potential for use in developing an integrated pest management program against WFT on French beans.


Gichangi E.M.,Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization | Njarui D.M.G.,Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization | Gatheru M.,Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization
Tropical and Subtropical Agroecosystems | Year: 2017

Grassland management practices that improve carbon uptake by increasing productivity or reducing carbon losses can lead to net accumulation of carbon in soils. A study was conducted to quantify the amounts of shoots and roots biomass of Brachiaria grass cultivars and their effects on soil carbon in two sites, Ithookwe and Katumani in semi-Arid tropical Kenya. The grass cultivars were Brachiaria decumbens cv. Basilisk, B. brizantha cvs. Marandu, MG4, Piatã and Xaraes, B. humidicola cv. Llanero and B. hybrid cv. Mulato II. These were compared with two locally cultivated grasses (Chloris gayana cv. KAT R3 and Pennisetum purpureum cv. Kakamega 1). The grass treatments were evaluated with fertilizer application (40 kg P applied at sowing and 50 kg N ha-1 in each wet season) and with no fertilizer application. Shoots biomass of the Brachiaria cultivars ranged from 3.0 to 11.3 t ha-1 and 5.5 to 8.3 t ha-1 at Ithookwe and Katumani sites respectively in year 1. The highest shoots biomass recorded at Ithookwe was from cv. Piata while cv. MG4 gave the highest biomass at Katumani. Similar trends were recorded in year 2 of growth though the shoots biomass was lower at Katumani. However, the yields were significantly lower than those recorded from control, Napier grass in both years. The cv. Marandu, Xaraes, Basilisk and Piata had higher roots biomass than the controls (Rhodes grass and Napier grass) indicating greater potential for the Brachiaria grasses to sequester more carbon in the soil. The results of this study indicate that introduction of Brachiaria grasses in the semi-Arid tropics of Kenya and in other similar environments can help increase soil carbon stocks that would mitigate the adverse effects of climate change and have greater economic returns.


Gemenet D.C.,University of Hohenheim | Gemenet D.C.,Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization | Hash C.T.,International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics ICRISAT | Sanogo M.D.,Institute dEconomie Rurale IER | And 4 more authors.
Field Crops Research | Year: 2015

Pearl millet [. Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br] production on the acid sandy Sahelian soils in West Africa (WA) is severely limited by low plant-available phosphorus (P) in addition to erratic rainfall. We sought to examine the genetic variability for P uptake and P utilization efficiency in 180 WA pearl millet inbred lines or subsets thereof under low (LP) and high P (HP) conditions in one field and two pot experiments, determine the relationships among the measured traits and grain yield under field conditions at three other independent WA sites, and identify potential secondary selection traits for improving grain yield under LP. We observed genetic variation for P uptake and utilization in both seedling and mature plants. P utilization efficiency increased under LP conditions. Total P uptake was more important for grain production than P utilization under LP field conditions (. r=. 0.57*** vs r=. 0.30***). The estimated response to indirect selection was positive for most of the measured morphological and P-efficiency parameters. We conclude that both seedling and mature plant traits are potentially useful as secondary traits in selection of pearl millet for low-P adaptation. These results should be validated using heterozygous pearl millet genetic materials. Ultimately, pearl millet breeding activities for low P tolerance in WA should be integrated with other system-oriented research such as nutrient cycling, intercropping or rotations with legumes, better crop-tree-livestock integration, and modest applications of locally available rock phosphate. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Kagunyu A.F.,Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization | Wanjohi J.G.,Catholic University of Eastern Africa
Pastoralism | Year: 2015

This study took place in Isiolo County in northern Kenya among the Borana community, whose major economic activity is livestock production. The County is characterized by droughts which have increased in frequency and severity. This study sought to investigate the availability of camel drought feeds in the study site, guided by two specific objectives: to establish the existence of supplementary feeds used by the Borana community for camels during the drought periods and to establish the distribution of the supplementary feeds. Data was collected through secondary sources, semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and direct observation. The study findings indicate that the Borana pastoralists use Euphorbia tirucalli to feed their camels during the drought periods. They also revealed that the plant was sparsely distributed in the study site and most of the feeds were purchased from neighbouring agro-pastoralists at affordable prices. E. tirucalli plays a very important role in saving the lives of camels during drought periods. Therefore, this study recommends that pastoralists in Isiolo County need to be encouraged to plant E. tirucalli in their farms. The Borana pastoralists need to be trained on appropriate methods of harvesting and propagating the plant. © 2015, Kagunyu and Wanjohi.


PubMed | University of the Free State, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, University of Arizona and U.S. Department of Agriculture
Type: Journal Article | Journal: TAG. Theoretical and applied genetics. Theoretische und angewandte Genetik | Year: 2016

A gene for Ug99 resistance from wheat landrace CItr 4311 was detected on the long arm of chromosome 2B. Wheat landrace CItr 4311 has seedling resistance to stem rust caused by Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici race TTKSK and field resistance to the Ug99 race group. Parents, F


PubMed | Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, University of Nairobi and Kenya International Livestock Research Institute
Type: | Journal: Preventive veterinary medicine | Year: 2016

A cross-sectional study to determine risk factors associated with sero-prevalence of contagious caprine pleuro-pneumonia (CCPP) in goats was carried out between the months of March, 2014 and March, 2015 in Pokot East, Turkana West and Kajiado Central Sub-counties. A semi-structured questionnaire focusing on risk factors for CCPP was completed for each flock whose serum samples were collected. A logistic regression model was developed to assess the association between the risk factors and CCPP sero-positivity. Of the 54 flocks, 49 (90.7%) presented at least one sero-positive animal. Two hundred and four of the 432 goats tested sero-positive at monoclonal antibody based competitive Enzyme-linked immuno-sorbent assay (c-ELISA), hence a sero-prevalence of 47.2% (95% CI=42.5-51.9). Previous exposure of flocks to CCPP (p<0.001, OR=52.8; CI=6.45, 432), distant sources of veterinary drugs (p<0.001, OR=6.17; CI=3.41, 11.1), movement of goats to dry season feeding areas (p<0.001, OR=4.31; CI=2.39, 7.75) and markets as a source of new introductions to the flock (p=0.033, OR=1.86; CI=1.05, 3.27) were identified as risk factors significantly associated with CCPP sero-prevalence. The findings provide further evidence supporting the high prevalence and endemic state of the disease in pastoral flocks and hence there is need for adequate measures to be put in place to control the disease effectively.

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