Fungi of Australia: the smut fungi.
The smut fungi (Ustilaginomycetes and some Urediniomycetes) are parasites mainly of flowering plants. In Australia, these fungi include 296 species in 43 genera. The conspicuous stage is the sorus, which is often confined to the ovary or inflorescence, but may also be found in the anthers, fruits, leaves, stems and roots. Responsible for devastating crop Losses in the past, their importance for Australian agriculture has been reduced since the introduction of fungicidal seed treatments and the development of disease resistant varieties. However, some smuts remain serious pathogens of cereal crops elsewhere in the world, thus highlighting the importance of accurate identification and the need for a reliable understanding of the taxonomy of the entire group, including endemic and established species. This volume of the Fungi of Australia, the first overview of the Australian smut fungi in almost 100 years, includes identification keys to genera and species, full synonymy, descriptions and comprehensive lists of specimens. The accompanying CD, incorporating a LucidTM Player, provides an easy-to-use, interactive key to smut species, with comprehensive fact-sheets, distribution maps, and over 1,000 images.