Skip to main content

Relationship between incidence and severity of peanut smut and its regional distribution in the main growing region of Argentina

A Correction to this article was published on 16 March 2022

This article has been updated


Peanut smut, caused by the soil-borne pathogen Thecaphora frezii, has increased in incidence in the main Argentinian peanut-growing regions. Smut-affected pod transform the kernel into a mass of teliospores, which survive in the soil for long time. This study is the first large-scale (regional) survey to determine the occurrence and distribution of peanut smut in the main peanut-growing area of Argentina. Surveys were conducted in Córdoba province, in randomly selected commercial peanut fields (n = 217) grown from 2015 to 2020. A five-score severity scale has been used to quantify the severity of smut on pods (0 = healthy kernels and 4 = totally smutted kernels), and a disease severity index (DSI) was calculated. Pods with severity scores of 3 and 4 are rejected by the industry and produce a high volume of spores that spread among fields increasing the inoculum in the soil. Those pods were classified as severely damaged pods (SDP). The relative frequency of smut classes during the years was evaluated and the relationships between the yearly incidence and DSI were determined. The mean of the incidence was variable (never zero) across the years and increased from 1.66% in 2015 to 11.47% in 2020. More than 80% of the affected pods belonged to SDP category. The variable SDP, a more time and cost-effective method for quantifying peanut smut, best explained the variation in DSI values. Our results suggest that that visual estimates of incidence and SDP should be useful for disease monitoring, screening genotypes, or treatment comparisons in smut management experiments. Our survey data provided an update in the knowledge of T. frezii distribution over the peanut-growing area of Argentina.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6

Data availability

The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

Change history


  • Agüero D (2017) Mercado internacional y nacional del maní. In: Fernandez E, Giayetto O (eds) El cultivo de maní en Córdoba. UNRC, Río Cuarto, pp 411–433

    Google Scholar 

  • Andrade O, Muñoz G, Galdames R, Durán P, Honorato R (2004) Characterization, in vitro culture, and molecular analysis of Thecaphora solani, the causal agent of potato smut. Phytopathology 94:875–882

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Asinari F, Paredes JA, Monguillot JH, Cazón LI, Edwards JP, Rago AM (2019) Últimos años de registros del carbón del maní, ¿hacia donde vamos? In 34° Jornada Nacional del Maní. Available at Accessed on 8 Sept 2021

  • Astiz Gasso M, Leis R, Marinelli A (2008). Evaluación de incidencia y severidad del carbón de maní (Thecaphora frezii) en infecciones artificiales, sobre cultivares comerciales de maní. In: 1° Congreso Argentino de Fitopatología. p 161

  • Augusto J, Brenneman TB, Culbreath AK, Sumner P (2010) Night spraying peanut fungicides I. Extended fungicide residual and integrated disease management. Plant Disease 94:676–682

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bennett RS, Rodriguez A, Baldessari JJ, Chamberlin KD, Payton ME, Wang N (2021) A note on the association between Thecaphora frezii infection and peanut pod density. Peanut Science 48:54–60

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bock CH, Poole GH, Parker PE, Gottwald TR (2010) Plant disease severity estimated visually, by digital photography and image analysis, and by hyperspectral imaging. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences 29:59–107

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Boote KJ (1982) Growth stages of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) 1. Peanut Science 9:35–40

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bressano M, Massa AN, Arias RS, De Blas F, Oddino C, Faustinelli PC, Soave S, Soave JH, Pérez MA, Sobolev VS, Lamb MC, Balzarini M, Buteler MI, Seijo JG (2019) Introgression of peanut smut resistance from landraces to elite peanut cultivars (Arachis hypogaea L.). PLoS ONE.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Calzada J, Rozadilla B (2018) Argentina líder en exportaciones del complejo de maní. Bolsa de comercio de Rosario. Available at Accessed on 21 Aug 2021

  • Camiletti B, Paredes JA, Monguillo JH, Grosso NR, Rago AM (2021) Fungicide efficacy of nanocrystal-based formulations against peanut smut. Crop Protection 143:105522

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cazón LI, Paredes JA, Rago AM (2018) The biology of Thecaphora frezii smut and its effects on Argentine peanut production. In: Kimatu JN (ed) Advances in plant pathology. InTech Open, London.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Cazón LI, Paredes JA, Bisonard M, Rago AM (2016). Capacidad de infección de Thecaphora frezii en el tiempo. In 31° Jornada Nacional del Maní. Available at Accessed on 8 Sept 2021

  • Cazón LI (2015) Detección molecular de Thecaphora frezii Carranza & Lindquist en semillas de maní (Arachis hypogaea L.) MSc Thesis. Universidad Nacional de Córdoba. Available at Accessed on 6 Sept 2021

  • De Blas FJ, Bressano M, Teich I, Balzarini MG, Arias RS, Manifesto MM, Costero BP, Oddino C, Soave SJ, Soave JA, Buteler MI, Massa AN, Seijo JG (2019) Identification of smut resistance in wild arachis species and its introgression into peanut elite lines. Crop Science 59:1657–1665

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fiers M, Edel-Hermann V, Chatot C, Le Hingrat Y, Alabouvette C, Steinberg C (2012) Potato soil-borne diseases. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 32:1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hammons RO, Herman D, Stalker HT (2016) Origin and early history of the peanut. In: Stalker T, Wilson R (eds) Peanuts: genetics, processing and utilization, vol 1609. AOCS Press, Urbana, pp 1–26

    Google Scholar 

  • Kambiranda DM, Vasanthaiah HK, Katam R, Ananga A, Basha SM, Naik K (2011) Impact of drought stress on peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) productivity and food safety. In: Kambiranda DM, Vasanthaiah HKN, Ananga RKA, Basha SM, Naik K (eds) Plants and environment. InTech Open, London.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Katan J (2017) Diseases caused by soilborne pathogens: biology, management and challenges. Journal of Plant Pathology 99:305–315

  • Kearney M, Zuza M, Ibañez M, Peralta V, Peiretti G, Alcalde M, Mojica C, Rago A (2021) Response of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) genotypes to smut (Thecaphora frezii) in the peanut growing region of Argentina. Peanut Science 48:61–67

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Marcuzzo LL, Carvalho J (2017) Relações lineares entre incidência e severidade foliar do míldio da cebola. Summa Phytopathologica 43:344–347

  • Marinelli A, March GJ, Oddino C (2008) Aspectos biológicos y epidemiológicos del carbón del maní (Arachis hypogaea L.) causado por Thecaphora frezii Carranza & Lindquist. AgriScientia 25:1–5

    Google Scholar 

  • Marinelli A, March G, Rago AM (1995) El carbón del maní (Thecaphora frezii)sobre Arachis hypogaea L. Séptimo congreso de micología y décimo séptima jornadas Argentinas de micología. p 134

  • Marinelli AD, March GJ, Oddino CM, Garcia J, Rago AM, Zuza MS (2010) El carbón del maní de 1995 a 2010 de enfermedad emergente a enfermedad endémica y epidémica. 25° Jornada Nacional del Maní. Available at Accessed on 15 Apr 2021

  • Marraro Acuña F, Rodríguez AV, Edelstein JD, Baldessari J (2014) Evaluación de la intensidad del carbón del maní. 29° Jornada Nacional del Maní. Available at Accessed on 5 Sept 2021

  • Oddino CM, Soave JA, Soave SJ, Moresi A, Bianco C, Buteler MI, Faustinelli PC, Torre, D (2013) Avances genéticos en la tolerancia al carbón del maní causado por Thecaphora frezii. In 27° Jornada Nacional del Maní. Available at Accessed on 8 Sept 2021

  • Paredes JA, Cazón LI, Osella A, Peralta V, Alcalde M, Kearney MI, Zuza MS, Rago AM, Oddino C (2016) Relevamiento regional del carbón del maní y estimación de pérdidas producidas por la enfermedad. In 31° Jornada Nacional de Maní. Available at Accessed on 23 Mar 2021

  • Paredes JA (2017) Importancia regional del carbón del maní (Thecaphora frezii) y efecto de ingredientes activos de fungicidas sobre la intensidad de la enfermedad. MSc Tesis. Universidad Nacional de Rio Cuarto

  • Paredes JA, Cazón LI, Bima M, Kearney M, Alcalde M, Nicolino JM, Rago A (2017) Protocolo de toma de muestras y evaluación para un correcto relevamiento del carbón del maní. In 33° Jornada Nacional del Maní. Available at Accessed on 15 Mar 2021

  • Paredes JA, Cazón LI, Rago AM (2017) Incremento de inóculo potencial según intensidad del carbón del maní. In 19° Congreso Latinoamericano de Fitopatología p. 143. Available at Accessed on 6 Sept 2021

  • Paredes JA, Asinari F, Edwards Molina JP, Oddino C, Rago A (2019) Incidencia del carbón del maní en función del inóculo de Thecaphora frezii en el suelo. In 29°Jornada Nacional del Maní. Available at Accessed on 6 Sept 2021

  • Paredes JA, Cazón LI, Oddino C, Monguillot JH, Rago AM, Edwards Molina JP (2021) Efficacy of fungicides against peanut smut in Argentina. Crop Protection 140:105403

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pariaud B, Ravigné V, Halkett F, Goyeau H, Carlier J, Lannou C (2009) Aggressiveness and its role in the adaptation of plant pathogens. Plant Pathology 58:409–424

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • R Core Team (2018) A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for statistical computing, Vienna

    Google Scholar 

  • Rago AM, Cazón LI, Paredes JA, Molina JPE, Conforto EC, Bisonard EM, Oddino C (2017) Peanut Smut: from an emerging disease to an actual threat to Argentine peanut production. Plant Disease 101:400–408

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rekah Y, Shtienberg D, Katan J (1999) Spatial distribution and temporal development of fusarium crown and root rot of tomato and pathogen dissemination in field soil. Phytopathology 89:831–839

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Seem RC (1984) Disease incidence and severity relationships. Annual Review of Phytopathology 22:133–150

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wale S, Platt HW, Cattlin N (2011) Disease, pests and disorders of potatoes, a colour handbook. Manson Publishing LTD, London, pp 64–65

    Google Scholar 

  • Wann DQ, Falco A, Cavigliasso M, Cassano C (2020) Phenotypic variation of peanut smut (Thecaphora frezii) incidence and severity in the U.S. peanut mini-core collection. Peanut Science 47:46–53

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



JAP: Conceptualization, methodology, formal analysis and investigation, and writing. JPEM: Validation, formal analysis, visualization, and writing. LIC: Writing methodology. FA: Data Curation. JHM: Data collection. SAM: Resources provision. AMR: Project administration. AMT: Supervision and writing.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Juan A. Paredes.

Ethics declarations

Ethical approval

The manuscript has been prepared following principles of ethical and professional conduct. The research did not involve human participants or animals. Therefore, neither statements concerning informed consent nor welfare of animals is applicable.

 Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest. All authors gave approval for submission of this manuscript. The authors declare that no conflicts of interest exist.

Additional information

Publisher's note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Supplementary Information

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary file1 (DOCX 73 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Paredes, J.A., Edwards Molina, J.P., Cazón, L.I. et al. Relationship between incidence and severity of peanut smut and its regional distribution in the main growing region of Argentina. Trop. plant pathol. 47, 233–244 (2022).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Thecaphora frezii
  • Aggressiveness
  • Peanut disease
  • Linear regression