The smut diseases are generally characterized by black, dusty masses of spores. These spores are, in reality, teliospores but are frequently and incorrectly called chlamydospores. The causal fungi are not obligate parasites; even so, they are not usually found as saprobes. The corn smut fungus, Ustilago maydis, however, is uniquely adapted and persists as a saprobe in the soil and on refuse. The fungi which cause the smut diseases are very specific in their selection of hosts and host organs. Some smut fungi may attack only the stems, flowers, anthers, or ovules of their hosts and no other part and no other host. Some diseases are localized and some are systemic. Many smuts are either seedling or ovary infectors.
KeywordsObligate Parasite Primary Inoculum Smut Fungus Loose Smut Causal Fungus
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.