Identification and occurrence of various species of Mistletoes on Tea cultivars at Rwebitaba Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute Gene-bank, Kyenjojo District
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This research conducted was about identifying the various species of mistletoes in the Tea gene bank at Rwebitaba Tea Research station under National Agricultural Research Organization Kyenjojo district. The research was carried out with the overall objective of; (i) evaluate the diversity and severity of mistletoes in the tea gene bank at Rwebitaba TRC. Then the specific objectives were; identifying the various species of mistletoes on the Tea cultivars in the gene bank, determining the occurrence of each species of mistletoe(s) in the gene bank and evaluating the severity of each species of mistletoes on the Tea cultivars in the gene bank. This study is justified by the fact that hemiparasites particularly mistletoes have become a big challenge to tea farmers in the zone by leading to reduced crop productivity and gradual death of tea plants when infestation tends to severe states. To be able to deal with the entire problem, studies have been recommended which has prompted this research. The research involved both quantitative and qualitative approaches using descriptive research design. Quantitative data was obtained by counting of all the tea plants in the gene bank and assessing them for the presence of mistletoes and reviewing of literature. The results of the study indicate eight species of mistletoes identified which include Tapinanthus bagwensis, Phoradendron macrophyllum, Tapinanthus globiferus, Tapinanthus belvisii, Tapinanthus rubromarginatus, Tapinanthus oleifolius, Phragmanthera incana and Viscum album. Of the 141 plants 58 were recorded infested making 41% mistletoe general incidence and the remaining 63 plants which make 59% of the plant population were not infested. Among the 76 plants of the vegetative propagation origin, 17 plants were infested making 22% infestation and 78% not infested respectively all from the clonal origin whereas among the 65 plants from the Open Pollinated Varieties (OPVs), 39 plants were recorded infested making 60% infestation whereas the remaining 26 plants were making 40% of the uninfected. According to the study the overall severity rates per species were Tapinanthus bagwensis 40%, Phoradendron macrophyllum 7% Tapinanthus globiferus 3%, Tapinanthus belvisii 0.007%, Tapinanthus rubromarginatus 38%, Tapinanthus oleifolius 3%, Phragmanthera incana 0.007% and Viscum album 9%.