Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more.

    Loose smut

    Infected ears push the healthy ears forward and release a dark brown to black spore mass when the grain is in bloom. An empty, blackish, and erect spindle is all that remains. Partial infection may also occur.

    overview

    Loose smut - image 1

    Loose smut - image 1

    Pest Profile

    • About the pest

      Description

      Smut heads develop on infected plants in place of kernels (Picture 1). The smut spores are transported by air currents and infect blooming, uninfected ears. They germinate in the open flower and produce a mycelium which infects the unpollinated embryo and forms thick-walled resting hyphae. The mycelium can survive for several years in the grain as a resting mycelium. When the grain germinates, the mycelium grows and is carried systemically upwards. Considerably thickened hyphae form during ear development, and develop into smut spores at maturity.

      Treatment

      Prevention

      Use pathogen-free seed. Sow in late fall or in early spring

      Combat

      Treat seeds with a fungicide seed treatment.