Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Sporisorium pulverulentum
(Sporisorium smut of wild Saccharum)

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Datasheet

Sporisorium pulverulentum (Sporisorium smut of wild Saccharum)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 27 September 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Documented Species
  • Pest
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Sporisorium pulverulentum
  • Preferred Common Name
  • Sporisorium smut of wild Saccharum
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Fungi
  •     Phylum: Basidiomycota
  •       Subphylum: Ustilaginomycotina
  •         Class: Ustilaginomycetes
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • 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 po...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Sporisorium pulverulentum sori in florets on Saccharum arundinacearum: (a) part of peridium remaining; (b) columella visible. Malaysia, Sabah, N. Borneo.
TitleSymptoms
CaptionSporisorium pulverulentum sori in florets on Saccharum arundinacearum: (a) part of peridium remaining; (b) columella visible. Malaysia, Sabah, N. Borneo.
CopyrightUSDA-ARS/Systematic Mycology & Microbiology Laboratory
Sporisorium pulverulentum sori in florets on Saccharum arundinacearum: (a) part of peridium remaining; (b) columella visible. Malaysia, Sabah, N. Borneo.
SymptomsSporisorium pulverulentum sori in florets on Saccharum arundinacearum: (a) part of peridium remaining; (b) columella visible. Malaysia, Sabah, N. Borneo.USDA-ARS/Systematic Mycology & Microbiology Laboratory
Sporisorium pulverulentum sori in florets on Saccharum arundinacearum: (a) part of peridium remaining; (b) columella visible. Malaysia, Sabah, N. Borneo.
TitleSymptoms
CaptionSporisorium pulverulentum sori in florets on Saccharum arundinacearum: (a) part of peridium remaining; (b) columella visible. Malaysia, Sabah, N. Borneo.
CopyrightUSDA-ARS/Systematic Mycology & Microbiology Laboratory
Sporisorium pulverulentum sori in florets on Saccharum arundinacearum: (a) part of peridium remaining; (b) columella visible. Malaysia, Sabah, N. Borneo.
SymptomsSporisorium pulverulentum sori in florets on Saccharum arundinacearum: (a) part of peridium remaining; (b) columella visible. Malaysia, Sabah, N. Borneo.USDA-ARS/Systematic Mycology & Microbiology Laboratory
Teliospores of Sporisorium pulverulentum on Saccharum arundinacearum. Indonesia, Java. Original x1000. Note scale bar.
TitleTeliospores
CaptionTeliospores of Sporisorium pulverulentum on Saccharum arundinacearum. Indonesia, Java. Original x1000. Note scale bar.
CopyrightUSDA-ARS/Systematic Mycology & Microbiology Laboratory
Teliospores of Sporisorium pulverulentum on Saccharum arundinacearum. Indonesia, Java. Original x1000. Note scale bar.
TeliosporesTeliospores of Sporisorium pulverulentum on Saccharum arundinacearum. Indonesia, Java. Original x1000. Note scale bar.USDA-ARS/Systematic Mycology & Microbiology Laboratory
Surface ornamentation of teliospores on Saccharum arundinacearum. Malaysia, Sabah, N. Borneo. Original x1000. Note scale bar.
TitleTeliospores
CaptionSurface ornamentation of teliospores on Saccharum arundinacearum. Malaysia, Sabah, N. Borneo. Original x1000. Note scale bar.
CopyrightUSDA-ARS/Systematic Mycology & Microbiology Laboratory
Surface ornamentation of teliospores on Saccharum arundinacearum. Malaysia, Sabah, N. Borneo. Original x1000. Note scale bar.
TeliosporesSurface ornamentation of teliospores on Saccharum arundinacearum. Malaysia, Sabah, N. Borneo. Original x1000. Note scale bar.USDA-ARS/Systematic Mycology & Microbiology Laboratory
Scanning electron micrograph of teliospores on Saccharum arundinacearum. Malaysia, Sabah, N. Borneo. Original x10,000.
TitleTeliospores
CaptionScanning electron micrograph of teliospores on Saccharum arundinacearum. Malaysia, Sabah, N. Borneo. Original x10,000.
CopyrightUSDA-ARS/Systematic Mycology & Microbiology Laboratory
Scanning electron micrograph of teliospores on Saccharum arundinacearum. Malaysia, Sabah, N. Borneo. Original x10,000.
TeliosporesScanning electron micrograph of teliospores on Saccharum arundinacearum. Malaysia, Sabah, N. Borneo. Original x10,000. USDA-ARS/Systematic Mycology & Microbiology Laboratory

Identity

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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 Invasiveness

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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 Tree

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  • 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 Nomenclature

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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).

Description

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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 Table

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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/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

IndiaPresentNative Not invasive Zundel, 1953
-AssamPresentNative Not invasive Vánky, 1985Species first identified here in 1889
-Tamil NaduPresentNative Not invasive BPI, US National Fungus CollectionsBPI 1912 specimen from Madras
IndonesiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-JavaPresentNativeBPI, US National Fungus CollectionsBPI 1921
MalaysiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-SabahPresentNativeBPI, US National Fungus CollectionsBPI 1947

Europe

SerbiaPresentVánky, 1985Novy Sad

Risk of Introduction

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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 List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedManaged grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Present, no further details Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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In addition to the host plants listed, hybrids of Saccharum are also affected.

Growth Stages

Top of page Flowering stage

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Inflorescence / black fungal spores

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
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 Dispersal

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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 Aspects

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Incidence

Richardson (1990) cites this species as seed-borne on Saccharum spontaneum.

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Breeding and propagation Yes Yes
Crop production Yes Yes
Flooding and other natural disasters Yes
Food Yes
Forage Yes

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Floating vegetation and debris Yes
Germplasm Yes
Plants or parts of plants Yes Yes
Wind Yes

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility 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 Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
Impact outcomes
  • Host damage
Impact mechanisms
  • Pathogenic
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
  • Difficult to identify/detect in the field

Detection and Inspection

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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/Conditions

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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).

Contributors

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10/09/09 Original text by:

Systematic Mycology & Microbiology Laboratory, USDA-ARS, 10300 Baltimore Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705, USA

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