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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Tilletia puccinelliae, a new species of reticulate-spored bunt fungus infecting Puccinellia distans

item Bao, Xiaodong
item Carris, Lori
item Huang, Guoming
item Luo, Jiafeng
item Liu, Y.
item Castlebury, Lisa

Submitted to: Mycologia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/25/2009
Publication Date: 5/1/2010
Publication URL:
Citation: Bao, X., Carris, L.M., Huang, G., Luo, J., Liu, Y., Castlebury, L.A. 2010. Tilletia puccinelliae, a new species of reticulate-spored bunt fungus infecting Puccinellia distans. Mycologia. 102:613-623.

Interpretive Summary: Bunt fungi cause serious diseases of grass crops, yet not all species are known even inside the United States. A previously unrecognized species of the fungus that causes "bunt" was detected in seeds of alkali grass from Washington state. The fungal pathogen was characterized and described as a new species, Tilletia puccinelliae, using morphology and DNA sequences. Recognition of this new species will be important to the seed trade, especially when inspecting grass seeds for import or export.

Technical Abstract: A shipment of seeds of Fults alkali grass (Puccinellia distans) grown in Washington state containing bunted seeds was intercepted by quarantine officials at China’s Tianjin Entry-Exit Quarantine and Inspection Bureau. The bunted seeds were filled with irregularly shaped, reticulately ornamented teliospores that germinated in a manner characteristic of systemically infecting Tilletia spp. on grass hosts in subfamily Pooideae. A phylogenetic analysis based on ITS region rDNA, eukaryotic translation elongation factor 1 alpha and a putative intein in the second largest subunit of RNA polymerase II demonstrated that the Puccinellia bunt was genetically distinct from known species of Tilletia and is proposed as a new species, T. puccinelliae.

Last Modified: 10/20/2017
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