Vivek GuptaCCS Haryana Agricultural UniversityHisar, Haryana, IndiaEmail: email@example.com
Host: Triticum aestivum L. (wheat)Disease name: ErgotPathogen name: Claviceps purpurea (Fr.) Tul.
Ergot is a common disease characterized by the formation of brown-black, rough structures, normally two to four times the size of normal grain, called sclerotia. At flowering, pinkish to golden sticky droplets appear on infected flowers. This sugary slime, called “honeydew,” attracts flies and insects, which feed on it and spread conidia to healthy flowers. As the infected plants mature, sclerotia develop in place of kernels and form hardened fungal masses that serve as overwintering fruiting bodies. These sclerotia germinate during the next sowing season and produce numerous stroma bearing ascospores, which are disseminated by winds, rain splash, and insects to healthy flowers. This disease has additional importance because it causes a disease in humans and animals called ergotism.
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