Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Maize boil smut (046)

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  • Worldwide distribution. On maize and sweet corn. A minor disease.
  • Spores from soil infect seedlings, grow inside and distort the ears, turning seeds into galls with millions of black spores. Smaller galls on leaves.
  • Spread long distances is by spores on wind and seed, but also on people, animals, fodder, and machinery.
  • Cultural control: do not replant on land where disease has occurred (spores stay alive for many years in soil); do not injure plants during cultivation; remove plants with signs of disease before galls burst; do not over fertilise plants; resistant varieties.
  • Chemical control: treat seed with carboxin or thiram.
Common Name

Boil smut, common smut of maize

Scientific Name

Ustilago zeae; previously known as Ustilago maydis

AUTHORS Helen Tsatsia & Grahame Jackson
Photo 4 David Cohen Flickr. ([email protected]).

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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