Studies on smut disease (Ustilago scitaminea Syd.) of sugarcane: Effect of some substrates on the germination of teliospores

Philip W. Marchelo-d’Raga, Yousif F. Mohamed, Gasim A. Dafallah


Sugarcane smut disease is incited by the fungus Ustilago scitaminea Sydow (syn. Sporisorium scitamineum (Syd.) M. Piepenbring). The disease is very easily recognized in the field by a characteristic long whip-like smut sorus produced at the apex of infected cane plants. The fungal spores are well adapted to long distance dispersal by either wind or irrigation water. Planting of cane cuttings with latent bud infection can effectively perpetuate the smut disease. The fungus is known to be an obligate parasite, thus it requires a living plant to produce spores (Croft et al., 2000). Therefore, the importation of infected sugarcane seed materials could introduce the disease.

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