Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Dilophospora alopecuri

Dilophospora alopecuri (Fries) Fries, 1849

on grasses

Dilophospora alopecuri on Holcus mollis

Holcus mollis, Belgium, prov. Limbourg, Peer, Mullerembeenden, 30.iv.2021 © Carina Van Steenwinkel

Dilophospora alopecuri on Holcus mollis


Dilophospora alopecuri : conidia


Dilophospora alopecuri on Holcus lanatus

Holcus lanatus, België, prov. Antwerpen, Geel, Neerhelst © Carina Van Steenwinkel

Dilophospora alopecuri on Holcus lanatus

the development is the plant is retarded and disturbed

Dilophospora alopecuri on Holcus lanatus

black stromata with pycnidia

Dilophospora alopecuri: conidium



Infected plants often are severely disturbed in their development.

host plants

Poaceae, oligophagous

Agrostis; Alopecurus; Arrhenatherum; Avena; Calamagrostis; Dactylis; Holcus mollis; Phalaris; Phleum; Poa; Trisetum; Triticum.


Dilophia graminis (Fuckel) Saccardo,1993; Lidophia graminis (Saccardo) Walker & Sutton, 1974. Both are names of the supposed teleomorph.


Dilophospora alopecuri lives on a wide range of grasses, including cereals. The species is distributed by conidia, and is able to infect plants directly, which leads to localized infections in the form of leaf spots. The conidia have at both ends specialised structures that enable them to attach to fine grooves in the epidermis of nematodes of the genera Anguina and Subanguina, like Anguina graminis and Subanguina graminophila. These nematodes live endobiotically in grasses, causing characteristic growth disturbances. Only conidia adhering to these nematodes can penetrate the growing tissue and develop into systemic mycelium. The mycelium can enter the developing seeds, leading to vertical transmission. Once systemic, the mycelium has a strongly deleterious effect on the nematodes.

In some subtropical regions the nematodes also carry a poisonous bacterium, viz., Clavibacter toxicus. Some grasses, in particular Lolium rigidum, can become toxic to such an extent that massive cattle mortality may result. For this reason the particular grass was rigorously controlled, but presently the problem is handled by spraying an emulsion of D. alopecuri conidia.


Asad, Sultan, Iftikhar, Munir, Ahmad & Ayub (2007a), Bird & McKay (1987a), Brandenburger (1975a: 798), Buhr (1964b), Dietrich (2001a), Ellis & Ellis (1997), Mäkelä & Koponen (1975a), Norton, Cody & Gabel (1987a), Rainio (1936a), Riley & McKaay (1990a).

Last modified 29.viii.2023