Spring Beauty Rust (Puccina mariae-wilsoniae)

I shared some images and info on the spring beauty rust last year. I did not find it nearly as prevalent this year in the same patch of spring beauty (Claytonia virginica) but I was able to find the alternate and rarer sporulating telia. The life cycle of the Puccina rusts are very complex and often require the use of two hosts (heteroecious). In the case of this species, there does not seem the need to use more than one host to complete its lifecycle. The first sporulating legions are the yellow “cluster cups” or aecia. These structures burst open and release dikaryotic (containing two nuclei) aeciospores.

“Cluster cups” or aecia of Puccina mariae-wilsoniae

The next photo shows the darker teliospore-producing telia. Known as “black rust” in the wheat pathogen, the teliospores are able to survive harsher conditions in the environment and do not need the strict temperature and humidity requirements to survive and infect the next generation.

Telia of Puccina mariae-wilsoniae

This is all I have for now. Next year I would like to see if I can get photographs of each respective spore if I can figure out the right equipment.

-OZB

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