Submitted to: Electronic Publication
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/30/2006
Publication Date: 6/30/2006
Citation: Castlebury, L.A., Shivas, R. 2006. Karnal bunt of wheat (Tilletia indica) Pest and Diseases Image Library. Electronic Publication. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Karnal bunt is caused by Tilletia indica, which is a floret-infecting fungal smut fungus. Unlike systemic smut fungi, only a few florets of the inflorescence become infected; with little or no swelling of the kernels, which may be only partially destroyed. In kernels partially infected, the sorus destroys the embryo tissue on the suture side; in advanced infection the tissues along the suture and adjacent endosperm are replaced with smut spores contained within the pericarp. The spores are powdery, brownish black in mass and produce a foetid, decaying fish-like odour (trimethylamine). Point infections are most common, but infection may also spread down the adaxial groove and, in severe cases the whole grain may be infected (OEPP/EPPO 2004).