Submitted to: Mycological Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/27/2007
Publication Date: 10/7/2007
Citation: Carris, L.M., Castlebury, L.A., Huang, G., Alderman, S.C., Luo, J., Bao, X. 2007. Tilletia vankyi, a new species of reticulate-spored bunt fungus with non-conjugating basidiospores infecting species of Festuca and Lolium. Mycological Research. 111:1386-1398.
Interpretive Summary: A previously unrecognized species of Tilletia was recently was recently detected in chewings fescue seed from the U.S. and ryegrass seed from Australia. The fungal pathogen was characterized and described as a new species, Tilletia vankayi. Recognition of this new species will be vital to the seed trade, especially when inspecting grass seeds for import or export.
Technical Abstract: A bunt fungus infecting commercial perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) from Australia and chewings fescue (Festuca rubra) from the U.S.A. exhibits a spore germination pattern that is unique from other reticulately-spored species of Tilletia infecting hosts in the grass subfamily Pooideae. Teliospores germinate to form 20-40 uninucleate, non-conjugating basidiospores. Colonies derived from single basidiospores produce teliospores in culture, and inoculation with single basidiospore colonies resulted in infection in perennial ryegrass and annual ryegrass (L. multiflorum). A phylogenetic analysis based on ITS rDNA, translation elongation factor 1-' (TEF), and the second largest subunit of RNA polymerase II (RPB2) demonstrated that the fescue and ryegrass bunts were conspecific, and distinct from known species of Tilletia.