Evaluation of Rice Varieties for Resistance to Panicle Blast, Pyricularia grisea Disease and Yield Performance under Upland Ecosystem
The reactions of rice varieties to natural infection of rice blast disease at Fogera National Rice Research and Training center were tested in two consecutive years of 2017 and 2018. The panicle blast was the most economically important disease next to sheath rot in the south Gondar zone. The host reaction and yield performance of rice varieties to panicle blast, Pyricularia grisea (Cooke) Sacc disease was tested in 12 commercial upland rice varieties through Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications.Means comparison of percent severity index (PSI) showed a significant difference (P<0.0001) among the upland rice varieties to panicle blast disease. The Nerica-3, Nerica-13, Nerica-12, Nerica-4 and Andassa varieties scored <10% PSI. Fofifa, kokot, Superica-1, Adet, and Hidassie showed moderate resistance to panicle blast (11-25% PSI). The highest PSI of the panicle blast was recorded in Getachew and Tana (26-100%). The superior yield responses of upland rice varieties were obtained from Nerica-13 (4122.6 kg/ ha), Nerica-12 (4568.6kg/ha), Getachew (5663.3 kg/ha) and Tana (5823.9 kg/ha) and Andasa (5416.7 kg/ha). Getachew and Tana were identified as high yielding varieties and known as susceptible to blast pathogen. Both varieties could be improved through gene combinations with parental resistance like Nerica-3 and Nerica-4 and moderately resistance of Fofifa, kokot, Superica-1, Adet and Hidassie in the next breeding program to develop rice varieties. Nerica-13, Nerica-12 and Andasa were recommended for growers as they are high yielder with good resistance to panicle blast disease.