U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research Unit, Ft. Detrick, MD 21702
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Accepted for publication 30 November 2001.
The rust fungus Puccinia jaceae var. solstitialis is a candidate for biological control of yellow starthistle (YST). Part of the risk assessment includes determining if safflower seedlings are susceptible to infection by teliospores of P. jaceae. A protocol for germination of P. jaceae teliospores is needed to verify that teliospores used in comparative studies are viable. The protocol developed from this research has two steps: first, priming teliospores on water agar at 4°C in the dark, and second, incubating them at warmer temperatures for 1 week in the presence of an exogenous stimulator. Priming longer than 4 weeks resulted in significantly greater germination than priming for shorter periods. Sources of effective stimulator included seeds and seedlings of YST or safflower. The greatest germination occurred during incubation at 18°C in the dark. Teliospore germination was reduced after incubation with a 12- or 14-h photoperiod. A low percentage (<20%) of teliospores of two isolates germinated after 44 and 96 weeks of dry storage at room temperature; samples of each isolate tested after that did not germinate. Data indicate teliospores of several isolates of P. jaceae are viable, and the protocol will be used to prepare teliospores of P. jaceae for comparative studies with P. carthami on safflower seedlings.
The American Phytopathological Society, 2002