Major biotic maize production stresses in Ethiopia and their management through host resistance.
Biotic stresses are recently evolving very rapidly and posing significant yield losses of maize production in Ethiopia. A number of high yielding maize hybrids, initially developed as tolerant/resistant, have been taken out of production due to their susceptibility to major maize diseases. Furthermore, recent disease and insect pest epidemics have clearly shown the importance of breeding maize for biotic stresses and study the genetics of resistance to the major maize disease pathogens, insect pests and parasitic weeds. This paper gives the general perspective of the major biotic maize production stresses in Ethiopia and the interventions made locally and globally to control these stresses using host resistance. More emphasis was given to grey leaf spot (GLS), turcicum leaf blight (TLB), common leaf rust (CLR), maize streak disease (MSD), maize lethal necrosis (MLN), maize weevil, stalk borers, fall armyworm and Striga. Approaches to conducting genetic analysis and achieving durable host resistance to these stresses, where applicable, are discussed. This information will be used for breeders, private and public maize seed and grain growers who are targeting to operate in Ethiopia and Eastern Africa.