Sporisorium vermiculum R.G.Shivas, A.R.McTaggart & Vánky

Description

Sori destroying the entire inflorescence, 70–120 mm long, 1.5–3.5 mm wide, initially covered by a thick brown peridium that ruptures irregularly exposing the dark brown powdery mass of spores and sterile cells surrounding a simple stout tapering columella as long as the sorus.

Spores when mature solitary, globose, subglobose to ellipsoidal, 4.5–5.5 × 4.5–5.0 µm, yellowish brown; wall uniformly c. 0.5 µm thick, minutely verruculose; spore profile smooth.

Sterile cells mostly in chains to 250 µm long; individual cells of variable shape and size, globose, ellipsoidal, usually irregular with two flattened sides, 5–12 (–15) µm long, hyaline, occasionally subhyaline with pale yellow tint; contents homogeneous; wall 0.5–1.0 µm thick, smooth.

Hosts
   
Host family: Poaceae
   
Host species: Sarga plumosum (R.Br.) Spangler

Distribution

States & Territories: WA

Comments

Sporisorium vermiculum lacks spore balls and has small spores similar to Tranzscheliella. It is one of six smut fungi that infect Sarga in Australia. It has very small spores as does S. ryleyi which infects individual ovaries, but S. vermiculum is distinctive in that it destroys the entire inflorescence and has long chains of sterile cells.