Botany Research Papers/Topics

Assessment of Four Commercial Watermelon Cultivars and one Local Landrace for Their Response to Naturally Occurring Diseases Pests and Non-Pathogenic Disorders in Sub-Humid Tropical Condition

Abstract Four commercial watermelon cultivars available in Kenya and one local landrace were evaluated for their susceptibility/resistance to naturally occurring diseases, pests and non-pathogenic disorders. The accessions included three most common commercial watermelon cultivars in Kenya namely ‘Sugarbaby’, ‘Crimson Sweet’ and ‘Charleston Gray’; one newly introduced cultivar from United States namely ‘Yellow Crimson’; and one local landrace (GBK-043014) from Kakamega distri...

Molecular Diversity of a Seemingly Altitude Restricted Ustilago kamerunensis Isolates in Kenya: A Pathogen of Napier Grass

Abstract The Central region of Kenya which is the second largest market oriented dairy zone, faces a threat in milk production. The challenge is a disease known as the napier head smut caused by Ustilago kamerunensis. This fungal microorganism is a facultative pathogen which has been reported to cause yield losses in napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) ranging from 25% to 46% across the affected areas. Additionally, there are reports of the continual spread of the disease into neighbouring c...

Yeast Extract Peptone Based Co-cultivation Media Promotes Transient GUS Expression in Tropical Maize Genotypes

Abstract Background and Objective: Tropical maize is the most cultivated crop in sub-Saharan Africa and is a staple food to over 220 million people. This study, evaluated the competence of four tropical maize (Zea mays L.) inbred lines to callus induction and regeneration through somatic embryogenesis when co-cultivated on yeast extract peptone medium (YEP). Materials and Methods: Transient GUS assay was used to evaluate the competence of the genotypes to Agrobacterium-mediated transformatio...

Characterization, Enzymatic Activity, and Secondary Metabolites of Fungal Isolates from Lake Sonachi in Kenya

Abstract The soda lakes of Kenya provide an extreme environment where diverse groups of microorganisms thrive. They are characterized by great variation in temperature, halophillic and alkaliphilic- extreme conditions. Lake Sonachi has been the study site for this research. The study sort to isolate, characterize and identify fungi, screen for potential exo-enzymes and secondary metabolites production that may be of industrial application. Malt extract agar was used in the isolation of fungi...

Is leaf pubescence of Cape Proteaceae a xeromorphic or radiation-protective trait?

Abstract Although pubescence has traditionally been considered to be related to the water economy of plants, the results are ambivalent and vary between different species. We tested two contrasting hypotheses for the functional significance of leaf pubescence of Proteaceae species from the Cape Floristic Region. First, we hypothesised that pubescence is a xeromorphic trait that conserves water by increasing the boundary layer resistance to diffusion. Water loss was measured in two morphotype...

Molecular detection of uncultured cyanobacteria and aminotransferase domains for cyanotoxin production in sediments of different Kenyan lakes

Abstract PCR-based denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis of 16S rRNA gene fragments was used to identify the cyanobacterial phylotypes in sediments and plankton of saline–alkaline and freshwater lakes of Kenya. The detection of the aminotransferase domain located on modules mcyE and ndaF using specific molecular markers confirmed the presence of potential toxin-producing cyanobacteria. The eight nucleotide sequences obtained from DGGE bands were placed in three divergent ...

Contribution of hot spring cyanobacteria to the mysterious deaths of Lesser Flamingos at Lake Bogoria, Kenya

Abstract Cyanobacterial mats at hot springs on the shore of the alkaline Lake Bogoria, Kenya, were investigated regarding species community and cyanobacterial toxin content. The hepatotoxins microcystin-LR, -RR, -LF and -YR, and the neurotoxin anatoxin-a were present. The mats were dominated by Phormidium terebriformis, Oscillatoria willei, Spirulina subsalsa and Synechococcus bigranulatus. The concentration of microcystins in mat samples, ranged from 221 to 845 microg microcystin-LR equival...

Mass developments of the cyanobacteria Anabaenopsis and Cyanospira (Nostocales) in the soda lakes of Kenya: ecological and systematic implications

Abstract The food web of the saline–alkaline lakes of East Africa is characterised by a unique interaction between the Lesser Flamingos as consumer birds and the cyanobacterium Arthrospira fusiformis as the primary producer. However, this interaction is disturbed frequently by alterations of the phytoplankton community. During the period 2001–2012, species of the cyanobacteria Anabaenopsis and Cyanospira were observed in four soda lakes of the African Rift Valley and compared to the enti...

Morphological characterization of Kenyan native wood ear mushroom [Auricularia auricula (L. ex Hook.) Underw.] and the effect of supplemented millet and sorghum grains in spawn production

Abstract Utilization of mushrooms collected from the wild requires adequate description of useful phenetic features and domestication protocols. This study investigated morphological characters and spawn production procedures of three Kenyan native strains of wood ear mushroom [Auricularia auricula (L. ex Hook.) Underw.]. Nine basidiocarps were selected from collections made in three forest reserves within Kakamega Forest in Western Kenya and morphologically characterized. Mycelia were raise...

Morphological Characterization of Some Wild and Cultivated Watermelon (Citrullus Sp.) Accessions in Kenya

Abstract Genetic diversity and relatedness were assessed among three most common commercial watermelon cultivars in Kenya; one newly introduced commercial cultivar from the U.S., one Kenyan landrace and one wild (Citrullus colocynthis) accession. The six accessions were grown in the field for two seasons under sub humid tropical conditions. Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications was used. Data was collected on morphological features of watermelon which include vine, ...

Isolation and characterization of actinobacteria from Lake Magadi, Kenya

Abstract Actinobacteria are ubiquitous and have been detected in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Although, various studies have focused on the ecology of this phylum, data on the ecology of actinobacteria endemic to soda lakes are scanty. This study aimed to determine actinobacterial diversity in Lake Magadi. Four different sampling points were selected randomly within the lake to cover a broad range of sample diversity. Wet sediments and water samples were collected from each sampling p...

Metal status of Nairobi riverwaters and their bioaccumulation in Labeo cylindricus

Abstract This study focused on the analysis of metals in water and fish from Nairobi River. Water from Kikuyu, Kawangware, Chiromo, Eastleigh, Njiru and Fourteen Falls along the Nairobi River was analyzed for the presence of metals. Most of the metal levels in water were below the critical limit of World Health Organization and Kenya Bureau of Standards except for lead, chromium, iron and manganese. Isolated cases of mercury and aluminium pollution were recorded. Except for iron, sodium and ...

Antimicrobial activity of Warbugia ugandensis against gramnegative multi‐drug resistant bacteria

Abstract The rise in antibiotic resistance has resulted in decreasing numbers of effective antimicrobial agents available to treat infections caused by multi‐drug resistant (MDR) bacteria. This has necessitated a search for new antimicrobial agents. Herbal remedies may offer alternative treatment options especially because they elicit little or no transferable resistance if used in optimal concentrations. This study evaluated the antimicrobial properties of W. ugandensis against eight mult...

The Physico-chemical Conditions of Turkwel Gorge Reservoir, a New Man Made Lake in Northern Kenya

Abstract Variations in some physical, chemical, and nutrient conditions were investigated at Turkwel Gorge Reservoir and its inflowing river, Suam between 1994 and 1995. Seasonal changes in inflow volume had the greatest impact on the reservoir and river conditions investigated. A wide fluctuation in inflow volume combined with a regulated outflow independent of season resulted in a draw down of over 10 m in each year. Flood inflows during the wet season resulted in the lowest values of Secc...

Isolation and characterization of bacillus species from soil in Ngere tea catchment area of Murang’a county, Kenya

Abstract Bacteria are a very diverse group of organisms in soil, and major taxonomic groups are represented in most soils. The extent of the diversity of microorganisms in soil is seen to be critical to the maintenance of soil health and quality, since a wide range of bacteria are involved in the important soil functions. The objectives of this study were to isolate, characterise and identify groups of bacteria from Bacillus species that are associated with soil quality in tea growing areas ...


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