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Entyloma lagoeciae: a new smut fungus occurring on the annual Apiaceae Lagoecia cuminoides

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Entyloma species (Ustilaginomycotina, Exobasidiales) cause white leaf spots where teliospores are formed in the intercellular spaces of the mesophyll of the plant tissue. The genus Entyloma contains about 190 species, of which 20 infect members of the Apiaceae. These seem to be highly host specific, with ten species restricted to various species of Eryngium . Lagoecia cuminoides (Apiaceae) is a widespread annual plant in the Mediterranean phrygana. To our knowledge it has not been reported to be affected by any smut fungus but in 2016 and 2017 individuals with indistinct white leaf spots were found on Rhodes (Greece). It was the aim of this study to characterise the causal pathogen with respect to its morphology and phylogeny. The comparison to closely related Entyloma species revealed the pathogen to be a new species – Entyloma lagoeciae. It differs from Entyloma eryngii-plani by the formation of flat and smaller leaf spots and the absence of an entylomella-like stage, from E. carmeli by the whitish sori, from E. scandicis by a thinner spore wall and from E. magocsyanum by bigger spores. Furthermore the new species seems to be host specific to Lagoecia cuminoides, which belongs to another subfamily of the Apiaceae than the known genera with Entyloma hosts, Eryngium, Tordylium or Scandix. Given the inconspicuous symptoms caused by most Entyloma spp., their high degree of host specificity and the many host plant species reported, it seems likely that additional Entyloma species parasitic on Apiaceae species await discovery.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2019

This article was made available online on September 10, 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Entyloma lagoeciae: a new smut fungus occurring on the annual Apiaceae Lagoecia cuminoides".

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  • Nova Hedwigia is an international journal publishing original, peer-reviewed papers on current issues of taxonomy, morphology, ultrastructure and ecology of all groups of cryptogamic plants, including cyanophytes/cyanobacteria and fungi. The half-tone plates in Nova Hedwigia are known for their high quality, which makes them especially suitable for the reproduction of photomicrographs and scanning and transmission electron micrographs.
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