The experiment was conducted at the National Cereals Research Institute Badeggi in the Southern Guinea Savannah zone of Nigeria during 2010/2011 wet cropping season. The aim was to evaluate five cowpea varieties (L-25, Ife brown, IT89 – KD – 374, IT89 – KD-434 and IT86 – D – 715) for resistance to Basal Stem Rot Disease (BSRD) caused by Sclerotiumrolfsii. The pathogen was artificially inoculated on stem of the varieties with mycelia disc and sclerotia. The inoculation methods included wounding and non-wounding. Healthy plants inoculated with distilled water were used as control. Result revealed that, L – 25, IT89 – KD and IT86 – D – 715 were immune to infection by the pathogen, while IT89 – KD – 434 and Ife brown were susceptible. The effect of pathogen on plant characteristics like plant establishment, plant height and seed weight were significant (P = 0.05). The findings of this study can be used in the control and management of stem rot disease of cowpea.
Cowpea Sclerotia, Inoculation Southern Guinea Savannah