Variability and viability of sorghum ergot sclerotia uri icon


  • Sorghum ergot pathogen (Claviceps sorghi and C. africana) infecls ovaries that develop into spore bearing masses (sphacelia) in sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) panicles. The hard textured sclero(ia of C. africana rarely protrude more than a few millimeters beyond the glumes while those of C. sorghi and C. sorghicola may protrude 15-20 mm beyond the glumes. For several ergot pathogens, sclerotia arc the resting structures through which they survive in the interval between harvest and the next crop. The sclerotium germinates to produce asci, which produces ascospores that can infect the new crop. How long can these sclerotia remain viable and cause infection? Sangitrao et al. (1997) have reported viability of sclerotia for a maximum of three years. In this article, results on variability and viability of 10-year-old sorghum ergot sclerotia are reported

publication date

  • 2003