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False Smut

False Smut

Villosiclava virens


In a Nutshell

    fungal disease that affect inflorescences in later stages of rice plant developmentball structures on the rice spikeletsgrain discoloration, loss of weight and germinationYield losses of 7−75% were observed

Hosts: %1$s

· Rice


Affect inflorescences first and later grain formation. Spore germination leads to the formation of a velvety globular mass (pseudomorph) of about 1 cm in diameter, consisting of mycelial tissues and floral parts. The colour can vary slightly according to the developmental stage. In the early state for example, the spore ball is enclosed in a whitish membrane. In later stages of maturation, the spherical structure bursts and releases orange spore masses that eventually turn greenish black when mature. Only a few grains form spore balls in a panicle and the disease is not systemic. Sclerotia -hardened tissue formations - can also be found on the globular structures.


The disease can occur in areas with high relative humidity (>90%) and temperature ranging from 25−35 ºC. Rain, high humidity, and soils with high nitrogen content also favors disease development. Wind can spread the fungal spores from plant to plant. Dew fall also favors infection.

Biological Control

Treatment of seeds at 52° C for 10 min also increase the odds of avoiding the infection

Chemical Control

Always consider an integrated approach with preventive measures together with biological treatment if available. In India, aureofungin, captan, fentin hydroxide and mancozeb have been used to effectively inhibit the progression of the disease. Seed treatment with fungicides did not hold the disease in check. Spraying the crop with carbendazim and copper oxychloride at the pre-flowering stage effectively controlled the disease and yields increased slightly.

Preventive Measures

    Use available resistant varietiesUse seeds certified by retailersAlternate wetting and drying of the fields rather than permanent floodingAvoid conservation tillageModerate use of nitrogenKeep the field clean of weeds and remove infected plant debris after harvest