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Occurrence and Spread of Sugarcane Smut Caused by Ustilago scitaminea in Morocco. Mohammed Akalach, Sugar Plant Protection Bureau, Centre Technique des Cultures Sucrieres (CTCS), BP 79 Kenitra, Morocco. Bouchra Touil, University Ibn Toufail, Faculty of Science, Morocco. Plant Dis. 80:1363-1366. Accepted for publication 26 August 1996. Copyright 1996 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/PD-80-1363.

Smut caused by Ustilago scitaminea was introduced into Morocco, and all major sugarcane cultivars grown in the Gharb and Loukkous regions were infected. Only the Moulouya region of Morocco has remained free from infection. Pathogenicity tests indicated that smut is most severe in ratoon crops. The disease is now widespread and the area infected increased from 12% in 1993 to 35% in 1995 in the Gharb region. In the Loukkous region, the hectarage infected increased from 14 to 69% during the same period. The incidence of smut initially was very low, with less than 100 whips per ha in 1993, but increased to more than 5,000 whips per ha in 1995. Sanitation measures to reduce inoculum potential have been implemented and resistant cultivars are being developed and will be released as possible replacements for the susceptible cultivars L72.85, CP65.357, and L62.96.