Accepted 17th July, 2015
Smut of couch grass (Cynodon dactylon), incited by the basidiomycete fungus Ustilago cynodontis, was first observed on couch grass in Juba (latitude 40 51’ N, longitude 310 35’ E) and Yei (latitude 40 09’ N, longitude 300 07’ E); at an elevation of approximately 470 meters above sea level in Central Equatoria State, South Sudan in July 2013. Thereafter, limited surveys were planned and conducted in June 2014 targeting five suburbs in Juba town and an area around the crop training center (CTC) in Yei. The mean percentage disease incidence for the areas covered by the study were; 16.21%; 28.47%; 6.46% and 19.98% for Hai-Thoura and Ministries complex; Munuki Block C; Munuki 107; and Kator in Juba County and 7.2% in CTC area in Yei County, respectively. The study found smut of couch grass to be widespread in the areas covered and recommends that; further studies on the host range and possible pathogen cross over studies should be carried out under South Sudan conditions to deepen the knowledge spectrum for this disease and its future implications on the production of other cereal crops in the country.
Keywords: Ustilago cynodontis, couch grass, smut disease, South Sudan