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Volume 55, 1924
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2. Elateromyces Bubak.

Bubak, Archiv. pro Prirodovedecky Vyzkum Cech, dil. 15, C. 3, p. 32, 1912.

Sori semi-compact, dark-coloured, usually confined to the inflorescences.

Spores single, globose to angular, smooth or verruculose, mixed with numerous coloured filaments (elaters) formed of numerous hyphae arranged in parallel fashion; germination by means of an elliptical probasidium, which becomes detached as a conidium.

Distribution: World-wide.

Of the three New Zealand species, two are endemic, and the third is indigenous, being widely distributed elsewhere.

This genus was erected by Bubak on account of the presence in the sori of numerous peculiar filaments, or “elaters,” as he has termed them. These elaters consist of numerous coloured hyphae arranged in a parallel manner. The hyphae are septate, and are 5–8 mmm. in thickness; the elaters may attain a length of 22 mm., but usually they are much shorter than this, being on an average 8–10 mm. long; in thickness they vary from 40 to 120 mmm. or even more. They are so characteristic that I have no hesitation in following Bubak and placing those New Zealand species possessing these structures in this genus. Their function is unknown, but they are supposed to assist in spore-distribution.

The method of germination is discussed under E. olivaceus and E. niger.

The three New Zealand species are confined to the Cyperaceae, two being parasitic on Carex, the third on Gahnia. Bubak records another species in addition to E. olivaceus—E. Treubii (Solms.) (Bubak (=ustilago

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Text-fig. 15.—Cintractia Spinificis (Ludw.) McAlp., from Spinifex hirsutus Lab.
Text-fig. 16.—Tilletia Holci (Westnd.) Rostr., from Holcus lanatus L.
Text-fig. 17.—T. decipiens (Pers.) Koern, from Agrostis vulgaris With.
Text-fig. 18.—T. Tritici Wint., from Triticum vulgare Vill.
Text-fig. 19.—T. levis Kuehn, from Triticum vulgare Vill.
Text-fig. 20.—Urocystis Anemones Wint., from Ranunculus insignis Hook. f.
All × 1,000.

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Treubii Solms.), on Polygonum cinense from Java; but his combination cannot be accepted, for U. Treubii is a synonym of U. emodensis Berk., according to Massee (1899). I cannot say whether it should be placed in Elateromyces, for I have not examined specimens.

Key to Species.
Sori olivaceous 3. E. olivaceus.
Sori black, or nearly so.
  On Gahnia 1. E. endotrichus.
  On Carex 2. E. niger.

1. Elateromyces endotrichus (Berkeley) n. comb.

Ustilago endotricha Berk., Fl. N.Z., vol. 2, p. 196, 1855.

Sori in inflorescences, elliptical, black, pulverulent, intermixed with numerous long coloured elaters.

Spores globose, 5–7 mmm. diam., epispore minutely and closely verruculose, blackish olive.

Host: Gahnia sp. In inflorescences. North Island, Sinclair. (Type in Herb. Kew.)

Distribution: New Zealand.

Only the single collection now at Kew (as Ustilago) has been made of this species. It is closely related to the following, which may possibly turn out to be the same; I have separated E. niger principally on account of the larger spores, and especially the very numerous black elaters.

E. endotrichus has been recorded from Ceylon, but Petch (1912)—to whose paper I am indebted for the description of the spores, given above—states the Ceylon species is E. (Ustilago) olivaceus.

The method of germination is unknown.

2. Elateromyces niger n. sp. (Text-figs. 11, 28, and Plate 44, fig. 1.)

Sori in occasional ovaries, at first compact and partially concealed within the perigynium, becoming exposed when semi-pulverulent, black, elliptical, and up to 6 mm. in length; intermixed with very numerous conspicuous elaters, black in mass, blackish-olive individually, which may attain a length of 15 mm. but are commonly less, averaging 10 mm.

Spores globose to shortly elliptical, 6–9 × 5–7 mmm.; epispore minutely and moderately verruculose, dark olive, 0.75 mmm. thick.

Host: Carex dipsacea Berggr. In panicles. Herb. No. 311. Pen-carrow (Wellington), sea-coast, E. H. Atkinson! 10 Feb., 1921. (Type.)

The host is an endemic species, occurring throughout the lowland areas of both Islands (Cheeseman, 1906, p. 822).

This is separated from the following species on account of the smaller and more regular spores, black colour of the sori, elaters, and spores, and the conspicuous elaters. These latter are so numerous as to give the sori a woolly appearance, as if a small tuft of hair had been caught and held in the position occupied by the sorus.

Germination.—In water, after three days, a few spores germinated after the material had been kept in the herbarium for twenty-one months. The method of germination is similar to E. olivaceus, a small probasidium being produced. This is elliptical in shape, and about the same length as the spore. Shortly after its formation it becomes detached and functions as a conidium. The spores did not germinate when placed in nutrient solution (soil extract).

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Fig. 1.—Ustilago leiis Magn., on Avena Striva L.
Fig. 2.—U. Avenae Jens, on Arrhenatherum elatius (L) Beauv. Healthy plant on left, smutted plants on right.
Fig. 3.—U. comburens Ludw., on Danthonia Buchanani Hook f. Diseased plants in centre: note how completely the inflorescences are destroyed.
Photos by H. Drake. All natural size.

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Fig. 1.—Ustilago Tricts Jens., on Triticum vulgare vill. Note (in centre) that inflorescence is completely destroyed before it is free from the shot-blade (the latter dissected away to show apical portion of the smutted inflorescence).
Fig. 2.—U. Jensenii Rostr., on Hordeum vulgaie L. Note compact nature of sori, and fact that the inflorescence is destroyed are it has emerged from the shot-table (on left).
Fig. 3.—U. bullata Berk., on Agropyron scabrum Beauv. Normal inflorescence on right Note bullate nature of the sori.
Photos by H. Diake. All ¾ natural size.

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Fig. 1.—Ustilago bromivora (Tul.) F. v. Waldh., on Bromus unioloides H. B. K. Normal inflorescence on the right.
Fig. 2.—U. Readeri Syd., on Anthoxanthum odoratum L. Normal inflorescence in the centre.
Fig. 3.—U. Readeri Syd., on Danthonia pilosa R. Br.
Photos by H. Drake. All ¾ natural size.

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[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]

Fig. 1.—Elateromyces nigei C. H. Cunn., on Carex dipsacea Berggr. Reduced to 4/9.
Fig. 2.—Cintractia Caricis (Pers.) Magn., on Carex spp. Infected specimen of Carex Gaudichaudiana Kunth. on left: note the almost spherical nature of the sori. Infected specimens of Carex ternaria Forst. f. on the right: note the fusoid nature of the sori, an unusual condition possibly meriting a verietal name. ⅔ natural size.
Photos by H. Drake.

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Fig. 1.—Cintractia Spinificis (Ludw.) McAlp., on male (left) and female (right) inflorescences of Spinifex hirsutus Lab.
Fig. 2.—Urocystis Anemones Wint., on leaf of Ranunculus insignis Hook. f.
Photos by H. Drake. Both reduced to 4/9.

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Fig. 1.—Sorosporinum Neillii G. H. Cunn., in inflorescences of Sciipus nodosus Rottb. Slightly infected specimens in the centre.
Fig. 2.—Ustilago striaeformis (Westnd.) Niessl, in leaves of Holcus lantus L. Note linear arrangement of sori.
Photos by H. Drake. All natural size.

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Fig. 1.—Cintractia scleroliformis (U. & M) G. H. Cunn, in the ovaries of Uncinia iipaia R. B1. 3/7 natural size.
Fig. 2.—Elateromyces olivaceus (DC) Bubak, on Carex dispacea Berggr. Sopecimen shows abnormal development of elaters. ¾ natural size.
Photos by H. Drake.

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[Latin diagnosis.]

Elateromyces niger sp. nov.

Soris ad ovaria destruentibus, semi-pulverulentis, atris, ellipticis, ad 6 mm. longis. Fibra intermixto, copioso, atro, 8–15 mm. longo.

Sporis globosulis v. breviter ellipticis, 6–9 × 5–7 mmm.; episporio subtilissime verruculoso, olivaceo, 0.75 mmm. crasso.

Hab.: In ovariis Caricis dipsaceae Berggr. Pencarrow (Wellington, N.Z.), sea-coast, E. H. Atkinson!

3. Elateromyces olivaceus (De Candolle) Bubak. (Text-fig. 29, and Plate 47, fig. 2.)

Bubak, Archiv pro Prirod. Vyzk. Cech, dil. 15, C. 3, p. 33, 1912.

Uredo olivacea DC., Fl. Fr., vol. 6, p. 78, 1815. Ustilago olivacea (DC.) Tul., Ann. Sci. Nat., ser. 3, vol. 7, p. 88, 1847. U. caricicola Tracy and Earle, Bull. Torrey Cl., vol. 26, p. 493, 1899. U. catenata Ludw., Zeitschr. Pflanzenkr., vol. 3, p. 139, 1893.

Sori in occasional ovaries, at first compact and partially concealed within the perigynium, becoming pulverulent, olive-brown, up to 5 mm. long, intermixed with numerous conspicuous yellowish elaters, which attain a length of 22 mm. but are usually much less, averaging 5–8 mm.

Spores globose to shortly elliptical, frequently irregular, often arranged in chains, 7–14 × 4–7 mmm.; epispore closely and finely verrucose, pallid olive, 0.5–1 mmm. thick.


Carex virgata Sol. In inflorescences. Herb. Nos. 499, 1249. Pencarrow (Wellington), sea-coast, E. H. Atkinson! 10 Feb., 1921.

Carex dipsacea Berggr. In inflorescences. Herb. No. 1250. Tapuwai, Hokianga (Auckland), 12 m., E. H. Atkinson! 18 Dec., 1923.

Distribution: World-wide.

Both hosts are endemic, and are widely distributed throughout the lowland areas of both Islands (Cheeseman, 1906, pp. 814–822).

The olive colour of the sori, and especially the straw colour of the elaters, together with the larger and more irregular spores, separate this from the two preceding species. The markings on the epispore are also characteristic, for they are more of the nature of warts, appearing flattened and closely crowded together.

Ustilago catenata Ludw. was based on a specimen of a host supposed to be a species of Cyperus, but McAlpine (1910, p. 158) states that he had portion of the type examined by Mr. L. Rodway, Government Botanist, Hobart, who pronounced it to be Carex pseudo-cyperus L.

Germination.—In water this commences within a few hours, a fine probasidium being produced. This elongates but does not become septate, and is then detached as a conidium. In the case of the larger spores a second conidium may be produced, depending on the quantity of the protoplasm contained within the spore. In nutrient solution, according to Brefeld (1883), budding occurs to a slight extent. When this process of germination is compared with such a species as Ustilago Avenae, in which a definite septate probasidium is produced, it appears rather a stretch of imagination to term the germination product a probasidium; rather should it be considered a conidium, for it behaves in a similar manner, and is about the same size and shape.