Mark D. Laing

Mark D. Laing
University of KwaZulu-Natal | ukzn · Department of Plant Pathology

PhD, Plant Pathology, University of Natal

About

397
Publications
192,268
Reads
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4,412
Citations
Introduction
Mark D. Laing currently works at the Department of Plant Pathology, University of KwaZulu-Natal. Mark does research in Plant Protection, using plant breeding, biological control and silicon fertilizer to manage diseases, pests and parasitic weeds. This research has extended to animal health, where he has project on the use of bacteriophages to control mastitis, and plant extracts and biocontrol agents to manage liver flukes and gastrointestinal nematodes in ruminants.
Additional affiliations
July 1984 - present
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Position
  • Professor and Chair of Plant Pathology
Description
  • Biocontrol of pests and diseases x crops & animals; Biofertilizers re Rhizobium and diazotrophs; Silicon fertilizers vs biotic & abiotic stress. Biocontrol of mastitis & plant bacteria using bacteriophages. NIR in plant pathology/breeding
January 1984 - present
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Position
  • Professor and Chair of Plant Pathology
Description
  • Academic Leader, Plant Pathology Lecturing undergraduates Supervising postgraduates. Managing projects. Collaborating with colleagues across several disciplines and institutions.

Publications

Publications (397)
Article
Full-text available
Cotton is one of the most valuable materials in the world, popularly used in the clothing industry and other products. However, its production is limited by the high infestation of insect pests. A study was conducted to evaluate the effects of different biopesticides on the control of the African bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera) under cotton field c...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge of the genetic diversity and genetic relationship is important in crop improvement. The objective of this study was to determine the genetic diversity of 31 sweetpotato genotypes and furthermore to select distantly related individuals for breeding of superior parental clones. The genotypes (sourced from the Agricultural Research Council,...
Article
Full-text available
Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is traditionally cultivated under drought-affected and low-input agro-ecologies in sub-Saharan Africa, including Ethiopia. Wheat productivity in these agro-systems is considerably low (50%) planted wheat in early July using the broadcasting method. Their land was of medium fertility, and the application of inorganic fer...
Article
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Understanding demographic structures, production constraints, and trait preferences is essential for setting up crop breeding goals and enhancing adoption strategies for new varieties. The objective of this study was to document the sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) production constraints and preferred sorghum traits to guide breeding in Sierra L...
Article
Full-text available
Sorghum hybrids can provide enhanced bioethanol yield if genetically complementary parents and progenies are developed using efficient crossing and selection methods. The objective of this study was to determine the combining ability of sweet stem sorghum genotypes, and assess heterosis among F1 hybrids for ethanol production and associated traits....
Article
Background: Cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.] in Zambia is a valuable source of cheap protein, complement to the food systems and value chains in rural and urban areas despite the low productivity. This study aimed to document the present level of cowpea production, identify constraints affecting cowpea production among smallholder farmers and...
Article
Full-text available
The current study evaluated the bio-control activity of Sudanese isolates of entomopathogenic-fungi against 3 rd larval instars of Khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium) (Everts) in Sudan and morphologically and molecularly characterized the virulent isolates. Fungi were isolated using Galleria-baiting method and tested against the larvae using immer...
Chapter
Full-text available
Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) is the most produced natural fibre worldwide, and it contributes significantly to the economy of almost 80 cotton-producing countries. Given the high pest infestation, huge amounts of insecticides have been used in cotton production. However, this has resulted in the development of resistance from primary cotton pests...
Article
Full-text available
The drying of agricultural produce is an important food preservation measure. However, high energy requirements for drying, limited access to energy sources, small-medium scale farmers experience high post-harvest losses of their produce. Therefore, there is a need to develop and optimize low-cost food preservation technologies. In this study, four...
Conference Paper
Several studies have demonstrated Si absorption in monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous species. Regarding Si uptake, studies in monocotyledons have identified Si deposition around the cell wall, cuticle layer bulliform cells, silica cells and endodermal cells. In previous studies with different citrus species there was evidence of Si uptake, howeve...
Article
Formulations of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana (Hypocreales: Cordycipitaceae) were tested under field conditions against the bovine tick adults Rhipicephalus microplus (Acari: Ixodidae). Formulations were prepared for each fungal isolate consisting of 10⁸ conidia.mL⁻¹, 10% avocado oil and either of Ballista® or Break-thru® as an adj...
Article
Combining ability analysis is fundamental in breeding programs to select desirable parents and progenies. The objectives of this study were to determine the combining ability effects, and gene action controlling agronomic traits and resistance to Fusarium wilt (FW) caused by Fusarium udum Butler in pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millspaugh]. Twenty-...
Article
Full-text available
A 22-m 3 residential room was converted to a seed storage facility by retrofitting a solar collector on the roof. Three different chimney sizes of diameter and height of 200 mm x 3.6 m, 200 mm x 4.8 m, 300 mm x 3.6 m and 300 mm x 4.8 m were investigated to determine the best size of the chimney to be used for ventilation in a storage facility. The...
Article
Full-text available
Beauveria bassiana (Hypocreales: Cordycipitaceae) is an entomopathogenic fungus that has shown promising results as a biocontrol agent of ticks. Locally isolated B. bassiana are better acclimatised to the natural conditions of their geographical origin; therefore, they are essential in developing effective biocontrol agents for ticks. The current s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Crop improvement depends on availability of genetic variation. However, recombination during sexual reproduction may be inadequate or slow for successful crop improvement. Ethylmethanesulphonate (EMS) is widely used to induce mutations and create new genetic variation in plants. The objective of this study was to determine optimum dosage and treatm...
Article
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Finger millet (Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn) is a highly nutritious crop, predominantly grown in the semi-arid tropics of the world. Finger millet has a niche market opportunity due to its human health benefits and being rich in calcium, iron and dietary fiber and gluten-free. Ethiopia is the center of the genetic diversity of the crop. However, t...
Article
Full-text available
Selecting genetically diverse and complementary parental lines and superior crosses are pre-requisites in developing improved cultivars. The objectives of this study were to determine the combining ability effects and gene action conditioning rice yellow mottle virus disease (RYMVD) resistance and agronomic traits in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Ten par...
Article
Pigeonpea Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp. is the most important legume cash crop grown in Malawi. However, productivity is low due to biotic and abiotic stresses and socioeconomic constraints. The objectives of this study were to determine farmers’ perceived constraints to pigeonpea production and to identify the varieties and traits preferred by farmer...
Article
This study aimed to select desirable parents and single-cross hybrids with partial FAW resistance and suitable agronomic traits for effective (FAW) (Spodoptera frugiperda Lepidoptera: Noctuidae J.E. Smith) resistance pre-breeding and breeding programs in Zambia and related agro-ecologies. A line × tester mating design was used to generate 60 experi...
Article
Full-text available
This paper reviews the threat of citrus pathogens during citrus production, with a focus on two pre-harvest diseases, citrus leaf spot, caused by Alternaria alternata (Fr.) Keissl. (1912) and brown rot, caused by Phytophthora citrophthora (R.E. Sm. and E.H. Sm.) Leonian, (1906) as well as green and blue mold post-harvest disease, caused by Penicill...
Article
Sorghum bicolor L. Moench (Poaceae) is a cereal crop grown worldwide and playing an important role in human nutrition as well as feed for livestock. Lepidopteran stem borers are the most economically important insect pests that affect sorghum production and their management relies on the use of insecticide chemicals that have adverse effects on hum...
Article
Full-text available
The production and quality of wheat are affected by abiotic constraints including water stress and soil nutrient deficiencies. It is imperative to develop drought-tolerant wheat varieties with high yield potential and enhanced grain protein content for food security. Silicon (Si) is important for plant growth and development but its role in abiotic...
Article
Full-text available
The current study evaluated the efficacy of indigenous isolates of entomopathogenic fungi against the third larval instar of tomato leaf miner (Tuta absoluta Meirick; Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae). Four virulent isolates were subject to morphological and molecular identification and they were identified as; Beauveria bassiana isolate Hammad-R7 (Sudan)...
Article
Full-text available
The fall armyworm (FAW) (Spodoptera frugiperda J.E. Smith) is an invasive pest of maize, as well as other important cereals and vegetables, threatening food systems and biodiversity in Sub-Saharan Africa. This study aimed to assess the outbreaks of the FAW, farmers’ perceived production constraints, and coping strategies in maize production in Zamb...
Article
The performance of a solar energy-assisted seed storage room was evaluated through an ordinary 22-m 3 room that was retrofitted with a solar collector, inlets and chimney. The structure was made of a solar collector to heat the ambient air before entering the chimney. The chimney circulated the air inside the structure and inlets. To compare the pe...
Article
Full-text available
The performance of a solar energy-assisted seed storage room was evaluated through an ordinary 22-m 3 room that was retrofitted with a solar collector, inlets and chimney. The structure was made of a solar collector to heat the ambient air before entering the chimney. The chimney circulated the air inside the structure and inlets. To compare the pe...
Article
Full-text available
The narrow genetic variation for drought adaptive traits and biomass allocation in wheat ( Triticum aestivum L.) presents a major bottleneck for breeding. Induced mutagenesis creates genetic variation and complements conventional breeding for drought tolerance improvement. The aims of this study were to induce mutations in wheat genotype LM43 using...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Isolation and optimization are the primary step in the development of fungal pathogens for biological control agents. In this study, three indigenous strains of Beauveria bassiana (Bb-27, Bb-40 and Bb-41) and one commercial strain (Eco-Bb) were tested for dose/response relationship of the fungus against Rhipicephalus microplus ticks. Re...
Article
Drought is a major cause of reduced yields in dryland wheat production. This study aimed to determine the combining ability effects of selected bread wheat genotypes (Triticum aestivum L.) for yield and yield-related traits. Eight parental lines were selected and crossed using a half-diallel mating design. The parents and 28 crosses were evaluated...
Article
Full-text available
Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) is a staple food crop in Burkina Faso that is widely grown in the Sahelian and Sudano-Sahelian zones, characterised by poor soil conditions and erratic rainfall, and high temperatures. The objective of this study was to document farmers’ perceptions of the prevailing constraints affecting pearl millet production an...
Article
Full-text available
Drought is one of the major constraints to wheat production and productivity globally. Developing drought-adapted wheat cultivars is paramount to increase wheat productivity under variable rainfall conditions. Understanding the genetic variability and trait association is key to the development of improved wheat cultivars. The objective of this stu...
Article
Background: Bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is a valuable commodity crop for local, regional and global markets. In Ethiopia, wheat ranks third after maize (Zea mays L.) and tef (Eragrostis tef Zucc.) in terms of total production, and fourth after maize, tef and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) in areas of cultivation. The major wheat-producing area...
Article
A new generation of chemical hybridization agents (CHAs) or gametocides has shown potential to induce male sterility in predominantly self-fertilizing crops, including sorghum (Sorghum bicolor [L.] Moench). There is a lack of information on the relative efficacy of the various available CHAs for large-scale application in plant breeding programs. T...
Article
Full-text available
The significant role of agriculture in the transformation of emerging economies has been well founded in the literature. This has contributed to the implementation of a number of intervention programs aimed at improving agricultural productivity and, subsequently, household welfare. However, the magnitude of the impact of adoption of any innovation...
Article
Full-text available
Sweetpotato improvement is influenced by selection of superior and best combiner parents with desirable traits. This study determined the genetic control of root nutrients: protein, β-carotene, starch, simple sugars and selected minerals. Two heterotic groups of five parents were crossed using a North Carolina II mating design to generate 25 full-s...
Article
As part of the Green Revolution, plant breeding programmes such as the African Centre for Crop Improvement have trained scientists to breed crop varieties in Africa to address the challenges of low productivity. However, exposure to and adoption of these varieties is somewhat modest, and there is also a scarcity of empirical studies on the drivers...
Article
Full-text available
Striga species cause significant yield loss in maize varying from 20 to 100%. The aim of the present study was to screen and identify maize genotypes with partial resistance to S. hermonthica (Sh) and S. asiatica (Sa) and compatible with Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. strigae (FOS), a biocontrol agent. Fifty-six maize genotypes were evaluated for resist...
Article
Despite Rwanda's impressive economic success over the last decade, household food insecurity persists, particularly in rural areas. Empirical evidence is therefore deemed necessary to inform policies addressing food insecurity, hunger and poverty in general. This study examines household food security and its determinants in the rural areas of Sout...
Article
Full-text available
Breeding new and high performing cultivars with market‐preferred traits take more than 10 years in the absence of an integrated pre‐breeding programme. During the early phases of breeding a significant amount of time, space and resources are invested in the selection and genetic advancement stages after initial crosses are performed with parental g...
Article
The new generation sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas L. (Lam.)] varieties are valued as dual-purpose types for food and fodder in the crop-livestock mixed-farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa. The objective of this study was to determine the genetic diversity present among dual-purpose sweetpotato genotypes using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers an...
Article
Full-text available
Cassava is an important starchy root crop grown globally in tropical and subtropical regions. The ability of cassava to withstand difficult growing conditions and long-term storability underground makes it a resilient crop, contributing to food security. Historically, small-scale farmers have grown cassava as a minor crop in the far north-eastern p...
Article
The aim of this study was to assess the extent of genetic diversity among and within tef populations collected from acid-affected soils in Ethiopia, and to test the cross-amplification of markers linked to Al-toxicity tolerance in other cereals. Forty-two tef genotypes were studied using 33 highly polymorphic SSRs. About 55% of the amplified putati...
Article
Full-text available
Rice (Oryza species) is a commercial crop worldwide. Across Africa, the potential yield and quality of rice is diminished by a lack of high performance, locally adapted varieties, and the impact of rice yellow mottle virus (RYMV). The objective of this study was to assess the performance of a diverse collection of rice germplasm for RYMV resistance...
Article
Genotype-by-environment interaction (GEI) analysis is fundamental in crop improvement programmes to guide selection and for recommendation of high performing and stable genotypes for breeding or production. The objectives of this study were to quantify the GEI effects and determine grain yield stability among diverse pigeonpea genotypes to select c...
Article
Cotton is a major fibre crop grown in South Africa; and is subjected to pest attacks, which reduce its yield and profitability for farmers. Field trials were conducted in 2017 and 2018 to evaluate three biopesticides, namely, Eco-Bb®, Bb endophyte, and Metarhizium rileyi in comparison with the insecticides Chlorpyrifos® 480 EC, Karate® EC, and Band...
Article
Full-text available
The fall armyworm (FAW) is a gregarious insect pest causing substantial yield losses and crop failures in maize and related cereal crops in sub-Saharan Africa due to a lack of resistant varieties and integrated control options. Genetic variation for economic traits including resistance to the FAW damage is a prerequisite in maize improvement progra...
Article
Full-text available
In Rwanda, sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas [L.] Lam) is a highly valued crop in a crop-livestock mixed farming system. The objective of this study was to assess the role of sweetpotato in the crop-livestock farming system, to identify farmer-preferred traits, and to establish farmer-led priorities in breeding dual-purpose varieties (DPVs) in Rwanda. A...
Article
Full-text available
Possible endophytic colonisation of rice cultivar parts (leaves, stem and roots) by Beauveria bassiana isolates and their potential as biocontrol agents against Sesamia calamistis Hampson (African pink stem borer) were investigated. Five promising B. bassiana isolates were evaluated for their endophytic colonisation, the effectiveness of the inocul...
Article
Full-text available
The use of a crop to remove nutrients from brewery effluent and the influence of pH on these removal rates was evaluated. Cabbage (Brassica oleracea) was grown in recirculating hydroponic systems fed with post-anaerobically digested brewery effluent (BE) either subject to pH adjustment (6.5–7.0) or unaltered pH (8.0–8.5). These were compared with c...
Article
Many empirical studies have recognized the importance of using improved crop varieties to tackle the challenges of low productivity, poverty, hunger, and food insecurity. Nevertheless, the size of the effect of any crop variety, such as dual-purpose sweetpotatoes developed for both food and animal feed, adopted by the target groups remains an empir...
Article
Brewery effluent (BE) can be used as a water and nutrient source for crop irrigation. It contains high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus, which are essential plant nutrients. However, the effluent at Ibhayi Brewery (SAB Ltd) has a high concentration of sodium, which is a constraint for its reuse in agriculture. The objectives here were to determine...
Article
Full-text available
Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan [L,] Millspaugh) is an important source of grain protein for low-income countries such as Malawi. Knowledge of the genetic diversity in pigeonpea is essential for an effective breeding program. The study objective was to assess the genetic diversity among diverse pigeonpea accessions to select complementary and unique genot...
Article
Common bacterial blight (CBB) caused by Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. phaseoli and X. axonopodis pv. phaseoli var. fuscans is one of the major biotic constraints limiting common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) production and productivity in Ethiopia. The objective of this study was to identify new sources of CBB resistance from a diverse panel of genotyp...
Article
Genetic diversity is fundamental for conducting successful crop improvement programs. The objectives of this study were to assess the genetic diversity and to deduce the population structure among bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) genotypes using phenotypic traits and simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers to identify divergent and complementary par...
Article
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Article
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Once harvested, fruit continue to respire, which is further exacerbated by elevated temperatures in the field and during transport to packhouses. This favors the proliferation of pathogens, which is detrimental to the postharvest fruit quality and, consequently, results in a decrease in the fruit shelf life. The aim of this review is to highlight t...
Article
Full-text available
Considerable genetic diversity is present amongst the sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.) accessions that can be selected for breeding. The Agricultural Research Council of South Africa maintains 360 sweetpotato accessions that were bred locally, and introductions from various regions of the world sourced for breeding purposes. The objective o...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Productivity of cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp] in sub-Sahara Africa is curtailed by a lack of farmer-preferred and improved cultivars and modern production technologies. The objectives of the study were to determine the extent of genetic diversity present among a collection of cowpea accessions from Zambia and Malawi using phenot...
Article
In South Africa, the avocado ( Persea americana ) is an important fruit, grown primarily for export and contributing ZAR 1.75 billion to the gross domestic product of the country. As an export driven industry, optimising exportable avocado fruit volume is a primary concern. Wind induced abrasion and damage by thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), throu...
Article
Food security and livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are threatened by the recent arrival of the fall armyworm (FAW) (Spodoptera frugiperda J.E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), a prolific, polyphagous insect pest of 350 host-plant species, including maize (Zea mays L.). In the major maize-producing countries in SSA, annual yield losses attrib...