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Andropogon smut

Scientific Name
Sporisorium andropogonis
Scientific Author
(Opiz) Vánky
Basidiomycota, Ustilaginomycetes, Ustilaginales, Ustilaginaceae
Native Australian Species

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Diagnostic Images

Light micrograph
Sporisorium andropogonis on Heteropogon contortus - BRIP 27410. Scale bar = 10 µm
Roger Shivas DEEDI
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Diagnostic Images (4)
Diagnostic Notes
Sori usually destroying the entire inflorescence, rarely confined to the spikelets, cylindrical or bifurcate at their distal part, 15–70 mm long, 1–10 mm wide, partly hidden by the terminal leaf sheath, at first covered by a well-developed yellowish brown peridium that ruptures irregularly and flakes away exposing the dark brown semi-agglutinated to powdery mass of spores and groups of sterile cells surrounding a simple or ramified irregular columella of the length of the sorus, the remnants of the floral axis and branches. Infection systemic.

Spores when young in loose irregular spore balls, 40–160 µm long, when mature solitary, globose, ovoid, ellipsoidal to slightly irregular, 7.5–11.0 × (6.5–) 7–10 µm, light olivaceous brown; wall uniformly 0.5–1.0 µm thick, densely punctate-verruculose; spore profile smooth to wavy, in SEM spores minutely echinulate, between the spines finely and densely verruculose.

Sterile cells in irregular groups or chains among the spores and also forming the peridium, globose to irregularly polygonal, flattened on contact sides, 6–16 (–22) µm long, subhyaline to yellow-tinted, with numerous droplets, collapsed in old specimens; wall uniformly 0.5–1.0 µm thick, smooth.

Spore germination resulting in 4-celled basidia on which lateral and terminal basidiospores are produced.
More Information
Specimen Contact
Roger Shivas
Roger Shivas
22/11/2010 12:36 AEST
Last Updated
23/11/2010 15:13 AEST
Roger Shivas (2010) Andropogon smut (Sporisorium andropogonis) Updated on 11/23/2010 3:13:21 PM Available online: PaDIL -
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Free for use under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License