First report of Claviceps africana in India
The ergot of sorghum, Claviceps africana, has recently spread to the Americas and Australia (see EPPO RS 97/031, 97/073, 97/119, 98/114). In Asia, its presence was so far only reported in Japan, Thailand and Yemen. In India, another fungus Claviceps sorghi is present and considered as endemic. The anamorph of C. sorghi (Sphacelia sorghi) is morphologically similar to that of C. africana. 5 isolates of sorghum ergot from several locations in southern India had previously been identified as C. sorghi. But recently, further studies have demonstrated that 2 of them (from Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh) were in fact C. africana. This finding suggests that the data published in recent years in India on sorghum ergot disease (thought to be caused only by C. sorghi) may have to be revised, as well as the future strategies to control the disease. This is the first report of C. africana in India.
Bogo, A.; Mantle, P.G. (1999) Claviceps africana discovered in India.
Plant Disease, 83(1), p 79.