Sporisorium scitamineum

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Sporisorium scitamineum spores (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Roger Shivas, DPI&F
Source: PaDIL - Wikimedia Commons

Sporisorium scitamineum (Syd.) M. Piepenbr., M. Stoll & Oberw. 2002 - (sugarcane smut)

This fungus causes a widespread disease of sugarcane that can result in considerable yield losses. Once the disease has progressed, a black, whip-like structure (sometimes curved) arises from the apical meristem. This structure produces airborne teliospores. Management relies mainly on resistant cultivars.

Plants become infected by the teliospores landing on them or through spores present in the soil. The fungus can also spread through infected cane cuttings. Mainly the shoots, buds and inflorescences of the plants become infected. The spores are dark brown, almost spherical with a diameter of around 6 µm. The spore wall is covered with spines or may be smooth.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Zuckerrohrbrand
• English: sugarcane smut
settborne smut of sugarcane
whip smut of sugarcane
• Español: carbón de la caña de azúcar
• Français: charbon de la canne à sucre

Ustilago scitaminea

For details see the respective page in Wikipedia.