|Nageswara Rao, T|
Submitted to: International Sorghum and Millets Newsletter
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2002
Publication Date: 10/1/2002
Citation: NAVI, S.S., BANDYOPADYSY, R., NAGESWARA RAO, T.G., TOOLEY, P.W. AN OUTBREAK OF SORGHUM ERGOT IN PARTS OF ANDHRA PRADESH, INDIA. INTERNATIONAL SORGHUM AND MILLETS NEWSLETTER. 43:68-70. 2002. Interpretive Summary: Epidemics of sorghum ergot disease caused by a fungus named Claviceps africana were reported from different parts of India in 1999 and 2000. Ergot is damaging because, following infection of the flowers by the fungus, seed production is much reduced and instead of producing seed, the sorghum heads exude a sugary substance known as honeydew. In addition to reduced seed set, honeydew can become encrusted on harvest machinery and cause problems in harvesting the sorghum grain. Large losses were observed in 1999 and 2000 from epidemics of sorghum ergot in two districts of India, Mahbubnagar and Ranga Reddy. In some villages surveyed, the sorghum crop was unharvestable. It is surmised that infected seed and plant debris from the 1999 epidemic could have provided the starting material for infection of sorghum plants in 2000, in which a larger area was affected.
Technical Abstract: We report the occurrence of sorghum ergot epidemics in India in 1999 and 2000. In both years, ergot was present in epidemic form. During the rainy season of 1999, a severe epidemic occurred in Maachinenipalli village, Mahbubnagar District. During 2000, another severe epidemic occurred in Maachinenipalli and other areas. A survey of 12 administrative zones in Mahbubnagar district in 2000 revealed and incidence of ergot over 50% in 15 villages. Severe epidemics also occurred in the Ranga Reddy district in 2000 with incidence ranging from 5% to 100%. The source of inoculum for the 2000 epidemics could have been postharvest-infected panicles stored or dumped in pits, or ergot-contaminated seed movement from one village to another.