Sporisorium pulverulentum (Sporisorium smut of wild Saccharum)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Growth Stages
- List of Symptoms/Signs
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Seedborne Aspects
- Pathway Causes
- Pathway Vectors
- Plant Trade
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Detection and Inspection
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Sporisorium pulverulentum (Cooke & Massee) Vánky 1985
Preferred Common Name
- Sporisorium smut of wild Saccharum
Other Scientific Names
- Cintractia pulverulenta Cooke & Massee 1889
- Sphacelotheca pulverulenta (Cooke & Massee) L. Ling 1949
- Ustilago pulverulenta (Cooke & Massee) Cif. 1928
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
There is little published information on this plant pathogenic fungus, which has a limited geographic distribution. As hosts exist in other regions of the world with similar environmental conditions, this species may pose a threat to native or agricultural plants if introduced.
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Fungi
- Phylum: Basidiomycota
- Subphylum: Ustilaginomycotina
- Class: Ustilaginomycetes
- Subclass: Ustilaginomycetidae
- Order: Ustilaginales
- Family: Ustilaginaceae
- Genus: Sporisorium
- Species: Sporisorium pulverulentum
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
Current molecular data place this species within the genus Sporisorium, in the Ustilaginales (Stoll et al., 2005). Cintractia, the genus of the basionym, is restricted to fungi from the same order, producing mostly flattened teliospores and occurring on Cyperaceae and Juncaceae rather than on grasses (Piepenbring, 2000; Vánky, 2007).
DescriptionTop of page
Sori in swollen ovaries, ovoid to short cylindrical, 3-5 mm long, partly hidden by parts of floret. Spore masses covered by pale-brown peridium that ruptures irregularly, usually at apex, exposing blackish-brown, semi-agglutinated to powdery masses surrounding short, tapering columella composed of plant and fungus tissue. Spores initially aggregated in very loose spore balls, 25-30 µm diameter; spores single-celled, globose, subglobose, or ovoid to slightly irregular (8-)9-12 x 9.5-13(-14) µm, yellowish-brown; wall 0.5 µm thick, finely and densely echinulate, spore profile appearing finely toothed. Areas between spines finely, densely warty. Sterile cells colourless, smooth, in irregular groups among spores, somewhat larger than spores; walls 1 mm thick. Spores germinate to produce a short, transversely segmented basidium, each of the four cells producing one colourless thin-walled spore. Spores infect ovaries in grass florets. For additional information see Vánky (2007).
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|India||Present||Native||Not invasive||Zundel, 1953|
|-Assam||Present||Native||Not invasive||Vánky, 1985||Species first identified here in 1889|
|-Tamil Nadu||Present||Native||Not invasive||BPI, US National Fungus Collections||BPI 1912 specimen from Madras|
|Indonesia||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-Java||Present||Native||BPI, US National Fungus Collections||BPI 1921|
|Malaysia||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-Sabah||Present||Native||BPI, US National Fungus Collections||BPI 1947|
|Serbia||Present||Vánky, 1985||Novy Sad|
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
The risk of introduction would be associated with the transport of contaminated vegetative seed stock or of true seed for use in breeding/hybridization.
Habitat ListTop of page
|Terrestrial – Managed||Managed grasslands (grazing systems)||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-natural||Natural grasslands||Present, no further details||Natural|
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
In addition to the host plants listed, hybrids of Saccharum are also affected.
Growth StagesTop of page Flowering stage
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Inflorescence / black fungal spores|
ClimateTop of page
|Am - Tropical monsoon climate||Preferred||Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))|
|Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter||Preferred||Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)|
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page
Data on dispersal are not available. Natural dispersal of spores from infected plants could be driven by wind, rain splash or flowing water, as are those of smut spores of other grasses (Frederiksen, 1986). Accidental introduction could occur if spores were present on vegetative planting stock or stems of Saccharum that are marketed or used in construction.
Seedborne AspectsTop of page
Richardson (1990) cites this species as seed-borne on Saccharum spontaneum.
Pathway CausesTop of page
Pathway VectorsTop of page
Plant TradeTop of page
|Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transport||Pest stages||Borne internally||Borne externally||Visibility of pest or symptoms|
|Flowers/Inflorescences/Cones/Calyx||spores||Yes||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
|Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches|
|True seeds (inc. grain)|
Risk and Impact FactorsTop of page Invasiveness
- Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
- Host damage
- Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
- Difficult to identify/detect in the field
Detection and InspectionTop of page
The fungus occurs in the individual florets only, as small dark bodies replacing the ovary/seed. Individual spores mixed with the seed or adhering to stems could only be detected and identified using high magnification light microscopy.
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
Other smut fungi occurring on Saccharum spp. include:
- Sporisorium erianthi [Sphacelotheca erianthi] differs in having smaller spores 5-9 (-10) µm diameter), with walls smooth in profile, and larger sterile cells (12-16 µm diameter).
- Sporisorium sacchari differs in having smaller spores (7.0-10.5 x 7-11(-12) µm diameter), with walls smooth, or only finely spiny, in profile.
- Sporisorium macrosporum [Sphacelotheca macrospora] differs in having larger spores (11-15 x 12-18 µm diameter) with larger spines.
- Sporisorium scitamineum [Ustilagoscitaminea] differs in having the sori produced not in the florets, but on the inflorescence stem, replacing the panicle with a long thin curved body containing small blackish-brown spores, 5.5-7.5 x 6.5(-10) µm diameter.
- Sporisorium kusanoi [Ustilago kusanoi] is reported only on Saccharum bengalense, affects the whole inflorescence in the manner of S. scitamineum, and has small, smooth to finely punctate spores, 3.0-5.5 x 3.5-6.5 µm diameter.
For additional information, see Vánky (1994).
ReferencesTop of page
BPI (US National Fungus Collections), 2009. Fungal Databases - Specimens. Beltsville, USA: Systematic Mycology and Microbiology Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, USDA. www.nt.ars-grin.gov/fungaldatabases/specimens/specimens.cfm
ContributorsTop of page
10/09/09 Original text by:
Distribution MapsTop of page
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