INTRODUCTION

The smut fungi are not a discrete taxonomic group, the term having been used traditionally for basidiomycetous plant parasites that produce teliospores (Vánky, 2002). The smut fungi are accommodated in two fungal subphyla and four classes, the Ustilaginomycotina (classes Entorrhizomycetes, Exobasidiomycetes, Ustilaginomycetes) and the Pucciniomycotina (class Microbotryomycetes)(Vánky, 2011). The smut fungi are represented throughout the world by about 1,650 species (Vánky, 2011) in approximately 100 genera (Vánky, 2002). There are about 3,500 synonyms to the species and about 50 to the genera, including 10 anamorphic genera. The number of host plant species exceeds 4,000 (Vánky, 2002).

In Australia, the smut fungi currently include 317 species in 51 genera, with about half of the species and eight of the genera known to be endemic (Aizoago, Anomalomyces, Centrolepidosporium, Eriocortex, Farysporium, Fulvisporium, Pseudotracya and Websdanea). A further five genera are endemic to the Australasian region (Cintractiella, Heterotolyposporium, Restiosporium, Shivasia, Tubisorus). The three largest genera, Sporisorium, Tilletia and Ustilago, account for more than half the Australian species, and 22 genera in Australia are represented by only a single species. Although about 500 plant species are known to be infected by smut fungi in Australia, more than 80% of smut species occur on grasses (Poaceae) or sedges (Cyperaceae).

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References  
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Glossary  
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Phylogeny