Pathogenicity Determinants in the Smut Fungi of Cereals

  • Flora Banuett
  • Ira Herskowitz
Part of the Plant Gene Research book series (GENE)


The smut fungi are a large group of plant pathogenic fungi and belong to the order Ustilaginales of the Basidiomycetes (Kenaga, 1972; Agrios, 1988). Most attack cereal grains and grasses, though they also affect broad leaf plants. Smut fungi can cause serious grain losses because they develop in the kernels, replacing the kernel contents with black masses of sooty spores, from which the term smut is derived (Agrios, 1988). Some of the most common smut fungi of cereals and the diseases they incite are U stilago maydis (corn smut disease), U. nuda (loose smut of barley), U. avenae (loose smut of oats), U. tritici (loose smut of wheat), and U. hordei (covered smut of barley).


Plant Pathogenic Fungus Avirulence Gene Diploid Strain Filamentous Growth Smut Fungus 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Flora Banuett
    • 1
  • Ira Herskowitz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and BiophysicsSchool of Medicine, University of California at San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

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