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Disease Note

Occurrence and Host Range of False Mildew, Caused by Beniowskia sphaeroidea, in Zimbabwe. E. Mtisi, Plant Protection Institute, Box 8100, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe. W. A. J. de Milliano, Regional Sorghum and Millet Improvement Program, P.O. Box 776, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Plant Dis. 75:215. Accepted for publication 26 July 1990. Copyright 1991 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/PD-75-0215B.

False mildew, caused by Beniowskia sphaeroidea (Kaichbr. & Cooke) E. Mason, was first reported in Zimbabwe on klits grass (Setaria verticillata (L.) P. Beauv.) in 1926 (1). The first false mildew sample on pearl millet (Pennisetum glaueum (L.) R. Br.) was received in 1952 and the first on Napier fodder (P. purpureum Schumach.), in 1969. From 1986 to 1989, false mildew affected pearl millet at several research stations in Zimbabwe where rainfall was 750 mm or more. Resistance was present in some local germ plasm collections as well as introduced lines (7042 RR, ICMPS 1500-7-3-2, ICMPES 29). None of the more than 2,000 sorghums (Sorghum bieolor (L.) Moench) grown next to heavily infected pearl millet developed symptoms, although the disease has been recorded on sorghum in Uganda and Malawi. Apparently, the disease is favored by humid conditions and is unlikely to cause severe damage in the more arid regions that are the major production areas for pearl millet.

Reference: (1) F. Eyles. Rhod. Agric. J. 23:629, 1926.