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False smut

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1. The occurrence of this disease is believed to indicate a good year because weather favourable to the development of false smut also favours good crop production. The disease appears on the ears where individual ovaries are transformed into large velvety green masses of round to oval sclerotial bodies. As it gives the appearance smut sori, the disease has got the name as false smut. Only a few grains are infected in the spikelet.

2. The disease is caused by Ustilaginoidea virens, which forms rough, olive green, granular spores. Some of green spore balls develop into sclerotia. The fungus produces perithecium with certain asci. The ascospores are hyaline, filiform and unicellular.

3. The fungus over winters on wild rice and many grasses. Primary infection is by airborne ascospores and secondary infection is by chlamydospores, which are air borne. Usually no special control measures are necessary. Spraying of0.1 % Carbendazimjust before flowering reduces the disease incidence.

File Courtesy: 
ICAR NEH, Umiam
Photo Courtesy: 
Dr.Krishnaveni (DRR)
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