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Disease Note

New Records of Ergot of Sorghum Caused by Sphacelia sorghi in Southern Africa. W. A. J. de Milliano, Regional Sorghum and Millet Improvement Program, Box 776, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. M. F. R. Tavares Nogueira, L. M. Pomela, F. S. Msiska, S. Kunene, B. Matalaote, A. M. Mbwaga, G. M. Kaula, and E. Mtisi. Ministry of Agriculture, Box 527, Luanda, Angola; Agricultural Research Division, Box 829, Maseru, Lesotho; Ngabu Research Station, Box 48, Ngabu, Malawi; Malkerns Research Station, Box 4, Malkerns, Swaziland; Department of Agricultural Research, Box 0033, Gaborone, Botswana; Ilonga Agricultural Research Institute, Kilosa, Tanzania; Mt. Makulu Central Research Station, Bag 7, Chilanga, Zambia; and Plant Protection Institute, Box 8100, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe. Plant Dis. 75:215. Accepted for publication 6 July 1990. Copyright 1991 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/PD-75-0215E.

In surveys of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) during 1985-1989, ergot caused by Sphacelia sorghi McRae was observed in Botswana, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola (Kikuxi, 1989), Lesotho (Maseru, since 1987, plus other locations), Malawi (Makoka, 1987,1989; Kasinthula, 1989; Ngabu, 1989), and Swaziland (Big Bend, 1986; Malkerns, 1986), the last four being new records. Epiphytotics occurred annually in farmers' fields and research sites in Lesotho, Zambia, and Zimbabwe at altitudes of 120-2,000 m and with annual rainfalls of 450-1,083 mm. Local and introduced cultivars and hybrids were rarely affected heavily. Heads of male sterile sorghums commonly had severities above 50%. Therefore, ergot may be a serious threat to hybrid seed production.