The main goal of this work was to review
the tools and laboratory techniques employed to study
the interaction of sugarcane and Sporisorium scitamineum
(Syd.) M. Piepe nbr., M. Stoll & F. Oberw. (Ustilago
scitaminea Sydow), smut’s causal agent. The sugarcane
resistance to this disease is determined by several factors,
among them the activation of several resistance proteins, and
other related genes. This interaction has been studied with
different tools, such as histological techniques for assessing
the disruptions at the cellular level caused by fungus
penetration; the biochemical ones used to detect changes
in the composition of several antimicrobial substances, the
histochemistry useful to stain in situ specific proteins, and
molecular biology, which provides us with valuable tools to
discover the activation or suppression of transcripts during
the interaction. These approaches contribute to the better
understandings of plant defense responses and to create
molecular bases for genetic improvement to be applied as
indicator in molecular assisted programs.
Keywords: Pathogenesis, plant-pathogen, resistance genes, laboratory techniques.