Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Tilletia controversa

Tilletia controversa Kühn, 1874

on grasses


The fruit is enlarged, greyish brown in colour, compact (not powdery), and filled with a stinking mass of spores. The spores are globular, 18-22 µm, their wall is covered by a mesh structure and a thin layer of mucus. This smut fungus is distinguished from related species because infested plants are strongly stunted, growing to less than one third of the normal height, and form abnormally many tillers.


Poaceae, oligophagous

Aegilops cylindrica, triuncialis; Agropyron cristatum & subsp. brandzae + pectinatum; Alopecurus myosuroides; Arrhenatherum elatius; Beckmannia; Bromopsis erecta; Dactylis glomerata; Elytrigia atherica, elongata, intermedia & subsp. trichophora, repens; Festuca rubra; Holcus lanatus; Hordeum bulbosum, marinum, murinum & subsp. leporinum, vulgare; Koeleria macrantha; Lolium remotum; Schedonorus pratensis; Secale cereale; Triticum aestivum & subsp. spelta, turgidum subsp. dicoccum + durum.


Tilletia calospora Passerini, 1877; T. hordei Körnicke, 1877; T. pancicii Bubák & Ranoj, 1909; T. prostrata (Lavrov) Lavrov, 1951. The orthography T. contraversa is incorrect (Index Fungorum, 2014).


T. controversa has a very broad array of host plants. This is very unusual, because in general plant parasites are strongly specialised (Bao, 2010). As “dwarf bunt” it is a world-wide pest in wheat production (Wilcoxson & Saari).


Almaraz (1998a), Bao (2010a), Bao, Carris, Huang ao (2010a), Boyd, Carris & Gray (1998a), Brandenburger (1985a: 778, 782), Buhr (1964b), Carris & Castlebury (2008a), Carris, Castlebury, Huang ao (2007a), Ivić, Sever, Scheuer & Lutz (2013a), Klenke & Scholler (2015a), Mayor (1967a), Melgarejo Nárdiz, García-Jiménez, Jordá Gutiérrez ao (2010a), Negrean & Denchev (2000a), Savchenko & Heluta (2012a), Scholz & Scholz (2013a), Tomasi (2014a), Tóth (1994a), Unamuno (1941a), Vánky (1994a), Vánky & Abbasi (2013a), Wilcoxson & Saari (1996a), Zogg (1983a).

Last modified 10.xii.2022