(DC.) Tul. & C. Tul., (1847)
Fusisporium inosculansBerk., (1847)
Tilletia caries (synonymous with Tilletia tritici) is a basidiomycete that causes common bunt of wheat. The common names of this disease are stinking bunt of wheat and stinking smut of wheat. This pathogen infects wheat, rye, and various other grasses. T. caries is economically and agriculturally important because it reduces both the wheat yield and grain quality.
Infection of the wheat occurs during germination of the plant seed and is favored by cool, wet conditions. 5–15 °C (41–59 °F). Bunt fungi overwinter as dikaryotic teliospores typically on seed and occasionally in soil. The fungus infects the shoots of wheat seedlings before the plants emerge from the soil. After karyogamy, the teliospores germinate to form a basidium, on which 8–16 haploid basidiospores (primary sporidia) will develop. There are two mating types of basidiospores (+ and -) and they fuse to form H-shaped structures to establish a dikaryon. This dikaryon then will yield infectious hyphae which can either produce more hyphae or more secondary sporidia. The pathogen grows within the terminal meristem via mycelium and completes its life cycle by transforming the mycelial cells into teliospores. The smutted wheat kernels that are full of teliospores break open and release upon harvest, which allows for the teliospores to overwinter on the seed and are blown away by currents onto the soil, thus completing the life cycle.Optimum conditions for spore germination are soil temperatures in the range of
Teliopsores are thick-walled, globiose, reticulate and 13–23 μm in diameter.
Agropyron (wheatgrass), Bromus (bromegrasses), Elymus (wildrye), Festuca (fescues), Hordeum (barleys), Lolium (ryegrasses), Poa (meadow grass), Secale cereale (rye), Triticale, Triticum spp. (wheats) – including T. aestivum (common wheat), T. dicoccum (hulled wheat), T. turgidum (durum wheat) – and other Poaceae (other grasses).
Plants that are infected with Tilletia caries will be stunted anywhere from a few centimeters/inches below average to half the average height of a healthy plant.Additionally, the heads are slender and remain green longer than healthy heads. A symptom that is indicative of T. caries is the replacement of yellow heads with grey bunt balls in the head of infected plants. The infected bunt balls are about the same shape and size as normal kernels. When the mature kernels are broken, they are full of a black, powdery mass of the fungal spores. These fungal spores give off a distinctive fishy smell and are oily to the touch. By the time symptoms are able to be detected, the pathogen is systemic throughout the plant, making it difficult to detect the pathogen early in the infection period.
From the late 1800s until the 1930s, stinking smut was a devastating disease of wheat. For example, infection levels over 20% were common in Washington State in the early 1900s. One of the most extreme cases was in Kansas in 1890 where the yield was reduced 20–50% because of Tilletia caries. Only when seed treatments became available after 1930 did losses from smut drop to much lower levels. Today, losses from smut rarely occur unless a grower chooses not to plant treated seed,but, if left untreated, bunt can reduce yield by more than 50%. In modern agriculture, if an infection occurs, losses are 5–10%. If there is a significant T. caries infection, the dusty and oily spore masses released during harvest can lead to combine explosions. Static electricity that develops around the combine machinery ignites the teliospore dust released from the combine.
It was used as a biological weapon by Iraq against Iran during the Iran–Iraq War in the 1980s.
The most effective and widely used management strategy for common bunt is to treat seed with fungicide before planting. According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, it is recommended to buy certified, fungicide-treated seed or have it cleaned and treated by a commercial seed conditioner. 68 °F (20 °C). For winter wheat this means planting in early fall and for spring wheat planting in late spring. This tactic can reduce the amount of smut that occurs, but it typically does not eliminate the disease. Typically, smut poses more of a problem in winter wheat than in spring wheat because in autumn, when winter wheat is planted, there is a longer period of more favorable temperatures for teliospore germination than compared to the planting season for spring wheat. There are no current wheat cultivars on the market with good resistance to common bunt. However, there have been research efforts that utilize DNA markers for resistant cultivars in the attempt to understand the specific genes that code for resistance against common bunt. This may be applied for future breeding of commercially available resistant wheat crop.There are ways that farmers can manipulate the severity of the infection to a certain extent. For example, they can plant the seed when the soil temperature is higher than what is ideal for teliospore germination, e.g., above
Basidiomycota is one of two large divisions that, together with the Ascomycota, constitute the subkingdom Dikarya within the kingdom Fungi. Members are known as basidiomycetes. More specifically, Basidiomycota includes these groups: agarics, puffballs, stinkhorns, bracket fungi, other polypores, jelly fungi, boletes, chanterelles, earth stars, smuts, bunts, rusts, mirror yeasts, and Cryptococcus, the human pathogenic yeast. Basidiomycota are filamentous fungi composed of hyphae and reproduce sexually via the formation of specialized club-shaped end cells called basidia that normally bear external meiospores. These specialized spores are called basidiospores. However, some Basidiomycota are obligate asexual reproducers. Basidiomycota that reproduce asexually can typically be recognized as members of this division by gross similarity to others, by the formation of a distinctive anatomical feature, cell wall components, and definitively by phylogenetic molecular analysis of DNA sequence data.
Corn smut is a plant disease caused by the pathogenic fungus Ustilago maydis. One of several cereal crop pathogens called smut, the fungus forms galls on all above-ground parts of corn species such as maize and teosinte. The infected corn is edible: in Mexico, it is considered a delicacy called huitlacoche, often eaten as a filling in quesadillas and other tortilla-based foods, as well as in soups.
The smuts are multicellular fungi characterized by their large numbers of teliospores. The smuts get their name from a Germanic word for dirt because of their dark, thick-walled, and dust-like teliospores. They are mostly Ustilaginomycetes and comprise seven of the 15 orders of the subphylum. Most described smuts belong to two orders, Ustilaginales and Tilletiales. The smuts are normally grouped with the other basidiomycetes because of their commonalities concerning sexual reproduction.
Karnal bunt is a fungal disease of wheat, durum wheat, and triticale. The smut fungus Tilletia indica, a basidiomycete, invades the kernels and obtains nutrients from the endosperm, leaving behind waste products with a disagreeable odor that makes bunted kernels too unpalatable for use in flour or pasta. While Karnal bunt generally does not lead to devastating crop losses, it has the potential to dramatically decrease yield and poses additional economic concerns through quarantines which limit the export of suspected infectious wheat products from certain areas, including the U.S. Several chemical control methods exist for Karnal bunt of wheat, but much work remains to be done in identifying resistant host varieties.
Blumeria graminis is a fungus that causes powdery mildew on grasses, including cereals. It is the only species in the genus Blumeria. It has also been called Erysiphe graminis and Oidium monilioides or Oidium tritici.
Sugarcane smut is a fungal disease of sugarcane caused by the fungus Sporisorium scitamineum. The disease is known as culmicolous, which describes the outgrowth of fungus of the stalk on the cane. It attacks several sugarcane species and has been reported to occur on a few other grass species as well, but not to a critical amount. The most recognizable characteristic of this disease is a black or gray growth that is referred to as a "smut whip". Resistance to sugarcane smut is the best course of action for management, but also the use of disease free seed is important. On smaller scale operations treatments using hot water and removing infected plants can be effective. The main mode of spore dispersal is the wind but the disease also spreads through the use of infected cuttings. Sugarcane smut is a devastating disease in sugarcane growing areas globally.
Take-all is a plant disease affecting the roots of grass and cereal plants in temperate climates caused by the fungus Gaeumannomyces tritici. All varieties of wheat and barley are susceptible. It is an important disease in winter wheat in Western Europe particularly, and is favoured by conditions of intensive production and monoculture.
Common bunt, also known as hill bunt, Indian bunt European bunt, stinking smut or covered smut, is a disease of both spring and winter wheats. It is caused by two very closely related fungi, Tilletia tritici and T. laevis.
Covered smut of barley is caused by the fungus Ustilago hordei. The disease is found worldwide and it is more extensively distributed than either loose smut or false loose smut.
Loose smut of barley is caused by Ustilago nuda. It is a disease that can destroy a large proportion of a barley crop. Loose smut replaces grain heads with smut, or masses of spores which infect the open flowers of healthy plants and grow into the seed, without showing any symptoms. Seeds appear healthy and only when they reach maturity the following season is it clear that they were infected. Systemic fungicides are the major control method for loose smut.
False loose smut is a fungal disease of barley caused by Ustilago nigra. This fungus is very similar to U. nuda, the cause of loose smut, and was first distinguished from it in 1932.
Pyrenophora tritici-repentis (teleomorph) and Drechslera tritici-repentis (anamorph) is a necrotrophic plant pathogen of fungal origin, phylum Ascomycota. The pathogen causes a disease originally named yellow spot but now commonly called tan spot, yellow leaf spot, yellow leaf blotch or helminthosporiosis. At least eight races of the pathogen are known to occur based on their virulence on a wheat differential set.
Gibberella zeae, also known by the name of its anamorph Fusarium graminearum, is a fungal plant pathogen which causes fusarium head blight (FHB), a devastating disease on wheat and barley. The pathogen is responsible for billions of dollars in economic losses worldwide each year. Infection causes shifts in the amino acid composition of wheat, resulting in shriveled kernels and contaminating the remaining grain with mycotoxins, mainly deoxynivalenol (DON), which inhibits protein biosynthesis; and zearalenone, an estrogenic mycotoxin. These toxins cause vomiting, liver damage, and reproductive defects in livestock, and are harmful to humans through contaminated food. Despite great efforts to find resistance genes against F. graminearum, no completely resistant variety is currently available. Research on the biology of F. graminearum is directed towards gaining insight into more details about the infection process and reveal weak spots in the life cycle of this pathogen to develop fungicides that can protect wheat from scab infection.
Phaeosphaeria nodorum is a major fungal pathogen of wheat, causing the disease Septoria nodorum blotch. It is a member of the Dothideomycetes, a large fungal taxon that includes many important plant pathogens affecting all major crop plant families.
Urocystis agropyri is a fungal plant pathogen that causes flag smut on wheat.
Sporisorium sorghi, commonly known as sorghum smut, is a plant pathogen that belongs to the Ustilaginaceae family. This fungus is the causative agent of covered kernel smut disease and infects sorghum plants all around the world such as Sorghum bicolor (sorghum), S. sudanense, S. halepense and Sorghumvulgare var. technichum (broomcorn). Ineffective control of S. sorghi can have serious economic and ecological implications.
Sporisorium reilianum Langdon & Full., (1978), previously known as Sphacelotheca reiliana, and Sporisorium reilianum, is a species of biotrophic fungus in the family Ustilaginaceae. It is a plant pathogen that infects maize and sorghum.
Tilletia barclayana is a plant pathogen that infects rice, signalgrass, pearl millet, and crabgrass. The pathogen corrupts the crops it infects, causing black busts to appear on the crops, which then become discolored and smutted.
Tilletia horrida, rice kernel smut, caryopsis smut, black smut, or grain smut, is a fungal rice disease believed to only affect the Oryza genus. It presents as a partial bunt.
Salmacisia is a fungal genus in the family Tilletiaceae. It is a monotypic genus, containing the single species Salmacisia buchloëana, first described as Tilletia buchloëana in 1889, and renamed in 2008. Plants infected by the fungus undergo a phenomenon known as "parasitically induced hermaphroditism", whereby ovary development is induced in otherwise male plants. Because of the pistil-inducing effects of the fungus, the authors have named the species pistil smut; it is the only species in the order Tilletiales known to have hermaphroditic effects.