alexa Outbreak of False Smut of Rice in Louisiana
Agri and Aquaculture

Agri and Aquaculture

Rice Research: Open Access

Author(s): M C Rush

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False smut, caused by Ustilaginoidea virens (Cooke) Takah., has been occurring in Louisiana rice since at least 1906 (4). A color plate (no. 69) of the disease was published in the Compendium of Rice Diseases published by the American Phytopathological Society (3). The slide for this plate was taken by M. C. Rush in 1976 of rice grown at the Rice Research Station at Crowley, LA. Since that time, the disease has been sporadic and light in Louisiana. In 1997, however, incidence was high. False smut was present on many germ plasms at the Rice Research Station in Crowley and was observed on commercial cultivars in several growers' fields in southwestern Louisiana. Incidence ranged from 1 to 15% of tillers infected with at least two to three spore balls per infected panicle. The disease occurred on both long- and medium-grain cultivars. False smut of rice occurs in the field at the hard dough to mature stages of the crop. A few spikelets in a panicle transform into globose, yellowish green, velvety spore balls that are 2 to 5 cm in diameter and covered by a thin orange membrane. The membrane bursts open and releases powdery dark green spores. The chlamydospores formed in the spore balls are spherical to elliptical, warty, olivaceous, and 3 to 5 × 4 to 6 μm in dimension. Some of the spore balls develop one or more sclerotia, which are the overwintering structure, in the center. False smut has been considered a minor disease of rice that occurs sporadically in Louisiana. The recent discovery of ustilotoxin, a phytotoxin and mycotoxin, produced by this pathogen on diseased tissues suggests that the fungus may be of concern as a contaminant on rice products consumed by livestock and humans (1,2). This increases the need to monitor the incidence of this disease.

This article was published in Plant Disease and referenced in Rice Research: Open Access

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