International Journal of Agricultural Research and Reviews

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First Report of Ustilago maydis (Pers.) Roussel the Causal Agent of Smut of Corn, Zea mays (L.) Pers. In South Sudan: A note

1Philip W. Marchelo-d’Ragga, 1 Peter B.S. Gama and 1,2 Beatrice C. Misaka



Accepted 6th June, 2015


Surveys were conducted in two main maize (Zea mays L.), producing Counties of Yei and Morobo in Central Equatoria State, South Sudan; during the second cropping season of 2013/14. The objectives were initially to collect maize leaf samples in an ‘ad hoc’ disease monitoring exercise for Maize Lethal Necrosis virus Disease (MLND) which is a new emerging disease problem in the East African Region with especially devastating effects in Kenya and Uganda. Twenty maize fields were chosen randomly for inspection/ sample collection in each County. Symptomatic maize plants infected with Ustilago maydis were noticed, then incorporated into the package as a survey. Results for the survey indicated a mean incidence of 5% for both counties combined. Therefore, at this stage the disease does not pose a threat to the production of corn. However, the study recommends more studies on host range, initiation of a screening program to identify tolerant/ resistant corn varieties putting up strategies for future management of the disease in case it becomes widespread in the Country.


Keywords: Smut, Ustilago maydis, corn, Zea mays (L.), South Sudan