A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases <http://www.isid.org>
Date: Tue 24 Jan 2012
Source: AllAfrica/The Monitor report [edited] <http://allafrica.com/stories/201201240115.html>
A team from Welthungerhilfe, an international non-governmental organisation (NGO), has embarked on educating farmers on how to eradicate smut, a disease that affects sorghum.
Robert Lochap, Welthungerhilfe, said smut last year affected several sorghum gardens, especially in Nakapiripirit [district; ProMED-mail post 20110729.2276]. A farmer said the disease destroyed at least 6 acres of his sorghum.
The district agricultural officer confirmed that the disease has been a hindrance to farmers, who he blamed for poor farming methods. He said the disease would be minimised if farmers adopt crop rotation. He promised to work with the NGO that has come to fight the disease.
The NGO has started by educating farmers how to carry out crop rotation as the first step towards fighting the disease.
[Byline: Steven Ariong]
[Smuts are a group of fungi causing symptoms of spore-filled galls (sometimes resembling distorted leaf-like structures) on leaves or seed heads of a number of cereal hosts. They are spread by wind, rain and with infected plant material.
A number of smut diseases occur on sorghum (_Sorghum bicolor_), reducing both the grain yield and forage value which are caused by different fungi: covered kernel smut (caused by _Sporisorium sorghi_), loose kernel smut (caused by _Sporisorium cruentum_), head smut (caused by _Sphacelotheca reiliana_) and long smut (caused by _Tolyposporium ehrenbergii_ and some other _Tolyposporium_ species).
The kernel smuts may be controlled by fungicide seed treatments; head smut and long smut may be controlled by growing resistant varieties.
All 4 smuts are present in Africa, but their patterns of incidence, severity and distribution vary in different regions. The smuts are economically important and continue to be a major biotic constraint in the effort to sustain high sorghum production levels. One or several of these fungi may be responsible for the problems in Uganda.
Head smut on sorghum:
Loose kernel smut:
(healthy vs diseased panicle)
Covered kernel smut:
<http://www.ipm.uiuc.edu/diseases/series200/rpd208/208-1.gif> and <http://img.springerimages.com/Images/Springer/JOU=12571/VOL=2010.2/ISU=2/
Information on head, covered and loose kernel smut:
<http://ipm.uiuc.edu/diseases/series200/rpd208/index.html> and via <http://www.infonet-biovision.org/default/ct/127/crops>
Loose kernel smut:
Sorghum smuts in West Africa:
Information on sorghum cultivation in Africa:
<http://www.infonet-biovision.org/print/ct/127/> and <http://www.prota4u.org/protav8.asp?g=pe&p=Sorghum+bicolor+(L.)+Moench>
_Sporisorium sorghi_ taxonomy:
_Sporisorium cruentum_ taxonomy:
_Sphacelotheca reiliana_ taxonomy:
Smut diseases, sorghum - Uganda: (NP) 20110729.2276
Smut, sorghum - Uganda: (Karamoja) 20071216.4051 2000
Smut disease, sorghum - Sudan 20000121.0099]