Submitted to: American Phytopathological Society Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/31/2004
Publication Date: 8/1/2004
Citation: Szabo, L.J., Anikster, Y., Markova, J. 2004. Puccinia recondita, leaf rust of cereal and grasses: Who's who? Phytopathology. 94:S125.
Technical Abstract: Leaf rust of cereal and grasses was first described almost two hundred years ago and the taxonomy of this rust has been in flux for almost as long. The current taxonomic classification of Puccinia recondita is based primarily on spore morphology, with formae speciales subdivisions based on the host. The host range of P. recondita includes 24 genera of telial hosts and 21 genera of aecial hosts, suggesting that P. recondita is actually a species complex, rather than a single species. However, until recently, the tools were not available to reliably differentiate members of this complex. DNA sequence analysis of the nuclear ribosomal RNA gene repeat was used to investigate this complex. Phylogenetic analysis of the current DNA sequence data indicated that there are at least 13 distinct species. Recent morphological and biological data, where available, support the DNA analysis. Elucidating the phylogenetic relationships and therefore the correct taxonomic classification will be essential to understanding the biology of this complex of cereal and grass leaf rusts.