Melampsoridium hiratsukanum

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Melampsoridium hiratsukanum uredia and urediniospore (click on image to enlarge it)
Source: Plant Parasites of Europe

Melampsoridium hiratsukanum S. Ito ex Hirats. f. 1927 - (alder rust)

This fungus is wide-spread, causing rust on alder. It is assumed to be native to Asia and has spread to temperate regions of Europe and North America, possibly through infected alder or larch plants. The infection can lead to the premature defoliation of alder trees. The fungus forms orange-yellow uredinial pustules on the leaves producing urediniospores. The urediniospores can infect other alder trees. In autumn the fungus may also form telia as overwintering structures which produce thick-walled teliospores. These germinate the following spring and form basidiospores which in turn infect the young needles of an alternate host of the genus Larix. On larch, spermogonia with pycniospores and aecia with aeciospores are formed. The latter infect alder leaves. However, the fungus does not pass through the aecial stage in some countries.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Erlen-Rost
• English: alder rust

The urediniospores are oval in shape, echinulate and approximately 10-15 x 25-30 μm large. In comparison to other Melampsoridium species, the fungus can be recognized by the relatively small and uniformly echinulate urediniospores. Aeciospores are roundish to elliptical, about 20 x 15 μm large.