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Bunt

Tilletia caries

Pathogen

Fungus

Hosts

Wheat

Symptoms

Infected plants moderately stunted. On ear emergence bunted heads are slender and maintain their green colour longer. At ripening glumes on infected ears are pushed further apart than usual due to the presence of round, plum bunt balls which replace the grain. The bunt balls contain a mass of black spores and have a strong fish-like smell.

Development

Infection can only arise from contaminated seed. Seeds become contaminated during harvest when bunt balls break and contaminate the surface of the grain with spores.

Importance

Contaminated grain may fail certification for seed.

Control

Identification and Management of cereal diseases

Find out more information on the key disease threats to your cereal crop. For each disease you will find out the importance of the disease in terms of potential yield penalty, how to identify the disease in its early stages and our advice on the best control strategies.

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