Orange rust of Rubus is an interesting disease because of the fact that it can be caused by three different rust fungi that produce virtually identical symptoms. One is Gymnoconia peckiana (Howe in Peck) Trotter, which is a demicyclic species, while the other two are endocyclic forms historically referred to as Gymnoconia nitens (Schwein.) Kern & H.W. Thurston. Although the spores produced on infected Rubus leaves by these latter two forms are morphologically identical to the aeciospores of G. peckiana, they actually function as teliospores. However, the teliospores of one of the forms gives rise to two-celled promycelia that bear only two basidiospores, while teliospores of the other produce four-celled promycelia bearing four basidiospores. Here, we examined the teliospores of the four-spored form along with the sequence of events that lead to basidiospore development. Developing and mature teliospores were binucleate, and we saw no evidence that karyogamy occurred in these spores. Upon germination, both spore nuclei migrated into the promycelium and underwent mitosis to form a total of four nuclei. Four transverse septa then developed, creating four uninucleate cells. A tapered sterigma arose from each cell and gave rise to a basidiospore. These findings indicate that the basidiospores of the four-spored form of G. nitens were formed in an asexual fashion.
Mims, C. W.; Richardson, E. A.; and Taylor, Josephine, "Ultrastructure of Teliospores and Promycelium and Basidiospore Formation in the Four-Spored Form of Gymnoconia Nitens, One of the Causes of Orange Rust of Rubus" (2007). Faculty Publications. 93.
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