Misidentification of Urocystis species on Ceratocephala falcata (Ranunculaceae) from Northern Iran

Document Type: Short Report


Department of Botany, Iranian Research Institute of Plant Protection, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Tehran, Iran




Main Subjects

Roumi and Sharzei (2017) recently reported the occurrence of Urocystis eranthidis (Pass.) Ainsw & Sampson in Iran based on the study of an infected specimen of Ceratocephala falcata (L.) Cramer (Ranunculus falcatus L.) collected from Maragheh, North West of Iran. Re-examination of the specimen (IRAN 16881F) revealed a misidentification of the smut species. The specimen showed following morphological features: Sori on the basal part of stem forming fusiform swellings, initially grayish-silver color and covered by the epidermis which ruptures longitudinally revealing the black, granular-dusty mass of spore balls. Spore balls sub-globose, elongated or rounded irregular, 17.5−47.5 × 14−34 µm (measured in Lactic acid in glycerol), dark brown, composed of 1−7 spores surrounded by an incomplete layer or only a few sterile cells. Spores sub-globose to ellipsoidal, often flattened on contact sides, 13.5−20 × 10−15 µm, dark reddish-brown, smooth. Sterile cells sub-globose, elongate to pyriform and irregularly flattened, 6−12.5 µm long, 3.5−6 µm wide, light yellowish-brown, smooth (Fig. 1). These morphological features fit the description of Urocystis ceratocephali Zambett. ex Vánky (Vánky & Abbasi 2013) and differ from the morphological characteristics of U. eranthidis (Pass.) Ainsw and Sampson mentioned by Vánky (2012). Comparison with an authentic specimen of U. eranthidis (HUV296) collected from Germany, confirmed differences between IRAN 16881F and U. eranthiidisUrocystis ceratocephali differs from U. eranthidis in having a different host, spore balls composed of up to 7 spores, producing sori only on stem and granular dusty mass of spores (Table 1). There is only one previous record of U. ceratocephali from Iran on Ceratocephala falcata, collected from Esfahan Prov., on the way between Shahreza and Semirom cities (Vánky & Abbasi 2013). 


Fig. 1. a. Spore balls of Urocystis ceratocephali, IRAN 16881F; b. Spore balls of U. eranthidis, HUV296. — Scale bars = 10 µm.


Table 1. Comparison of Urocystis ceratocephali and U. eranthidis for host range and morphological features.



Infection pattern

Mass of spores

Spore balls

U. ceratocephali

IRAN 16881F

Ceratocephala falcate

Sori on stem

Granular dusty

17.5−47.5 × 14−34

µm, composed of 1-7 spores

U. erantidis


Eranthidis spp.

Sori on stem, leaves, and petioles


16−32(−40) µm, composed of 1-2(3) spores


This smut is newly reported here from Maragheh, North West of Iran. Moreover, the report of Roumi and Sharzei (2017) about the occurrence of U. eranthidis is considered as a misidentification and should be ignored.



Roumi V, Sharzei A. 2017. First report of Ceratocephalus falcatus smut caused by Urocystis eranthidis. Azarian J. Agric. 4: 24−28.

Vánky K. 2012. Smut fungi of the world. APS Press, St. Paul, MI, USA.

Vánky K, Abbasi M. 2013. Smut Fungi of Iran. Mycosphere 4: 363−454.