Restiosporium Vánky


Restiosporium meneyae Vánky on Lyginia barbata (Labill.) R.Br.


Sori in the fruits of Restionaceae s. lat. (incl. Anarthriaceae and Lyginiaceae), replacing the seeds with a black granular-powdery mass of spore balls differentiating within a mass of sporogenous hyphae.

Spore balls composed of spores only. Peridium, columella and sterile cells absent.

Spores pigmented.

Spore germination (where known) resulting in 4-celled phragmobasidia in which basidial cells fuse in pairs.

Host-parasite interaction by intracellular hyphae coated by an electron-opaque matrix.

Septa poreless at maturity. Infected male plants of some species developing gynoecia with sori.


The genus Restiosporium contains 21 species in Australia and New Zealand, many of which have only minor morphological differences; 20 endemic species in Australia. It is curious that not a single smut fungus has been found in South Africa which has almost twice as many species of Restionaceae (c. 320) as there are in Australia (c. 170). Restiosporium appears to represent a phylogenetically young group in terms of its speciation and radiation.

Species in Australia
Restiosporium anarthriae
Restiosporium apodasmiae
Restiosporium baloskionis
Restiosporium chaetanthi
Restiosporium dapsilanthi
Restiosporium desmocladi
Restiosporium eurychordae
Restiosporium flexuosum
Restiosporium hypolaenae
Restiosporium lepidoboli
Restiosporium leptocarpi
Restiosporium lepyrodiae
Restiosporium meneyae
Restiosporium pallentis
Restiosporium patei
Restiosporium proliferum
Restiosporium restionum
Restiosporium spathacei
Restiosporium sphacelatum

Key based on host taxonomy
On AlexgeorgeaRestiosporium restionum
On Anarthria1
1.  Spore balls 30-60 x 40-80 µmRestiosporium anarthriae
Spore balls 40-90 x 45-130 µmRestiosporium proliferum
On ApodasmiaRestiosporium apodasmia
On Baloskion1
1.  Spore balls 35-100 x 45-150 µmRestiosporium baloskionis
Spore balls 30-70 x 30-90(-100) µmRestiosporium pallentis
On ChaetanthusRestiosporium chaetanthi
On Chordifex1
1.  Spore wall uneven, 1.2.5 µm thickRestiosporium restionum
Spore wall even, 0.5 µm thickRestiosporium sphacelatum
On CytogonidiumRestiosporium restionum
On Dapsilanthus1
1.  Spore wall 1-2 µm thick. Spore surface densely verruculoseRestiosporium dapsilanthi
Spore wall 0.5-0.8 µm thick. Spore surface smoothRestiosporium spathacei
On Desmocladus1
1.  Spore balls permanent. Spore wall 1-3(-4) µm thickRestiosporium desmocladi
Spore balls ephemeral. Spore wall 0.5-1.5 µm thickRestiosporium flexuosum
On EurychordaRestiosporium eurychordae
On GuringaliaRestiosporium guringaliae
On HypolaenaRestiosporium hypolaena
On Lepidobolus1
1.  Spore wall 2-4(-5.5) µm thickRestiosporium lepidoboli
Spore wall 0.5-1 µm thickRestiosporium patei
On LeptocarpusRestiosporium leptocarpi
On LepyrodiaRestiosporium lepyrodiae
On LyginiaRestiosporium meneyae