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[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Norway spruce bore an abundance of cones in Finland in 2000, but these cones were often fungal-infected. The seeds had structural injuries that were revealed when seed samples were examined using light (LM) and a field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM). Two main types of spores were found either in the tissues inside the seed coat or on the sarcotesta, the outermost layer of seed coat. The spores of Chrysomyxa pirolata appeared particularly in the nucellar tissue, where the cell walls were disintegrated at the middle lamellae and cytoplasm was disrupted. Degenerated remnants of fungal structures resembling aecial peridium were found close to aeciospores. The tissue of the megagametophyte differed also from that of a normal mature seed. Conidia of Thysanophora penicillioides were often encountered on the sarcotesta where the ordinary wax cover was missing. Fungal injury occurred in the nucellar layers that shelter the embryo and megagametophyte from desiccation and oxidation. Destruction of these structures together with rapid opening of the seed coat advance deterioration of seeds during storage and may cause unexpected economic losses in forest plant production.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chrysomyxa pirolata Wint., the cause of inland spruce cone rust, is a serious pathogen in natural spruce forests and seed orchards. Cone infection is caused by basidiospores produced by telia on alternate hosts in the genera Pyrola, Moneses, and Orthilia. The disease cycle of this rust and the influence of moisture on the differentiation of telia on Pyrola asarifolia Michx. were studied over two growing seasons at a wet site adjacent to a spruce seed orchard and a drier site adjacent to another orchard at Smoky Lake, Alberta, and at Edmonton and Hinton, Alberta. The proportion of uredinia to telia varied with microsite conditions, with more frequent production of telia in moist sites. The effect of moisture on formation of telia was tested by subjecting infected plants with immature sori to 90-100% relative humidity under various temperature and light conditions. Plants under high humidity, regardless of other conditions, formed mainly telia from immature sori, even if uredinia had already formed on parts of the leaves before the experiments. Telia formation, however, was much slower at 4-6°C than at 22°C. Cross-sections of sori showed that young uredinia could sometimes convert to telia. Results of a field experiment also suggested that increasing moisture increases the percentage of telia produced on plants. The production of undifferentiated sori that can become either uredinia or telia in response to environmental conditions may allow the fungus to maximize vegetative proliferation when conditions are unfavorable for sexual reproduction. It might also explain the large variation in cone rust levels from year to year in a given location.Key words: Picea, Pyrola, telia induction, seed orchard, Uredinales.
No preview · Article · Feb 2011 · Canadian Journal of Botany