Melampsora populnea

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symptoms of Melampsora populnea (= Melampsora pinitorqua) infection on pine (click on image to enlarge it)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Melampsora populnea (Pers.) P. Karst. 1879 - (twisting rust of pines)

This rust fungus is found in Europe and Asia. Reports from other regions are possibly erraneous. It is one of several Melampsora species infecting polars (telial host) as well as conifers (aecial host). Both forms of M. populnea can cause economically important damage. Infected poplar trees defoliate prematurely and have a reduced growth, especially in young trees. On pine trees, infections of shoots results in twisted and killed shoots. Young pine seedlings may die as a result of the infection.

Yellowish to orange uredinia develop on the lower surface of poplar leaves during the summer. These release urediniospores which infect other poplar trees and start new disease cycles. In autumn brownish telia develop on polars which overwinter and germinate in spring releasing airborne basidiospores. These infect the shoots of pine trees, producing first spermogonia and later aecia. The aeciospores infect poplar species again.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Kieferndrehrost
• English: twisting rust of pines
• Français: rouille courbeuse du pin


Synonyms:
Melampsora pinitorqua