Smut fungus infects carnation

Smut fungus infects carnation

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Credit: VAUGHAN FLEMING/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Smut fungus. Carnation, Silene dioica, cut open revealing infection by a smut fungus, Ustilago violacea. This parasitic fungus grows on the leaves, stems, fruits and flowers of its host plant. The black, powdery smut spores (teliospores) can be seen inside the flower (at left) and covering the inside of the petals (at upper and lower centre). These spores disperse on the wind and infect other plants. Certain smut species are a major agricultural problem as they can seriously reduce crop yields. These can be partially controlled by producing more resistant strains of plant. Modern fungicides are also of some use in preventing the spread of the fungus.

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Keywords: botany, carnation, disease, diseases, flower, fungus, in carnation, nature, pathogens, pathology, plant, plant pathology, smut, smut fungus, smut infection, ustilago violac, ustilago violacea

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