Corn smut

Corn smut (English)

Ustilago maydi(Botanical)

Description

Yield losses due to corn smut may approach 100 %. Smuts appear in the stalks, leaves, tassels or ears. Whitish-gray irregularities which expand and turn black as they fill with spores are observed first. Galls on leaves remain small, fleshy and smooth and with time become hard and dry and powdery inside. Symptoms are most commonly noticed when the ears produce mushroom-like tumors or galls. The fungal spores are blown by the wind for considerable distances to infect new plants. The plant is distorted, with reduced vigor and ultimately reduced yields. Yields usually have a characteristic odor.

Control

Use of resistant cultivars. No registered chemical control

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