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GrainGenes Pathology Report: Common Bunt

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Common Bunt
Other Name
Stinking Smut
Covered Smut
Common Smut
Host Species
Triticum aestivum
Secale cereale
Hordeum vulgare
X Triticosecale
Causal Organism
Tilletia caries
Tilletia laevis
Gene Class
Reaction to Tilletia caries (D.C.) Tul., T. foetida (Wallr.) Liro, T. controversa
Resistance Gene
Bt10 (Triticum)
Spores of common bunt infesting wheat seed germinate in the soil at temperatures of 40 to 60 F and infect germinating seedlings before emergence. Kernels of bunted heads are replaced with darkened sori or bunt balls containing black spores with a characteristic fishy odor. Infected plants may be somewhat stunted, but often are difficult to identify before heading. Both healthy and diseased heads can occur on the same plant, and both healthy and diseased kernels can occur in the same head. 'Smutted' grain is heavily discounted in commercial markets.
Teliospores typical of Tilletia species (10x40).
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ReferenceKephart KD (1993) Winter wheat disease management Insect and plant disease management handbook.
Reference(1987) Compendium of wheat diseases.