Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Ustilago striiformis

Ustilago striiformis (Westendorp) von Niessl, 1876

stripe smut

on grasses

Ustilago cf striiformis on Phalaris arundinacea

Phalaris arundinacea, Belgium, prov. Luxembourg, Martué, Petit Pilon © Jean-Yves Baugnée. Identification provisional, the difference with U. echinata is only visible in the spores.


Brown parallel striae run over the leaves; they later disintegrate, splitting the leaf into ribbons. Spores dark brown, 8-12 x 9-15 µm, roundish-oval, the wall densely covered with short blunt tubercles.

host plants

Poaceae, oligophagous

Agropyron cristatum; Agrostis canina, capillaris, castellana, schraderiana; Alopecurus arundinaceus, geniculatus; Anthoxanthum odoratum; Avenella flexuosa; Beckmannia; Brachypodium pinnatum, retusum, sylvaticum; Bromopsis benekenii, erecta; Bromus hordeaceus; Calamagrostis canescens, epigeios, lapponica, neglecta, purpurea & subsp. phragmitoides, varia; Cynosurus cristatus; Dactylis glomerata subsp. lobata; Elytrigia repens; Festuca alpina, nigrescens, ovina, rubra, stricta subsp. sulcata, valesiaca & subsp. parviflora, varia, violacea; Helictochloa versicolor; Hierochloë odorata; Koeleria glauca, pyramidata; Leymus arenarius; Melica uniflora; Ochlopoa annua; Phalaroides arundinacea; Phleum alpinum, nodosum, phleoides, pratense; Poa alpina, angustifolia, arctica, bulbosa, chaixii, compressa, glauca, media, nemoralis, palustris, pratensis & subsp, irrigata, timoleontis, trivialis & subsp. sylvicola; Puccinellia distans, maritima; Schedonorus pratensis; Sesleria caerulea; Setaria italica; Trisetum spicatum.


“Ustilago striaeformis”; anthoxanthi Liro, 1938; festucarum Liro, 1924; kairamoi Liro, 1939; phlei-pratensis Davis, 1931; poae Ito, 1936; poae-annuae Davis, 1935; poae-bulbosae Săvulescu, 1951; poae-pratensis Davis, 1935; taenia Ciferri, 1938; triseti Liro, 1939.


In the past a number of species have been recognised within the Ustilago striiformis complex, mainly based on the association with their host plant. Because no morphological characters existed to distinguish these species, they later were reunited by most authors, including Vánky, and in the Index Fungorum.

Kruse ao have reinstated many of these species, and described some new. They based themselves on a study of the DNA of type specimens (not of U. striiformis itself), and on a limited amount of fresh material. The width of variation inn the genetic material therefore is not well known, even less the precision of the correlation with the host species. Generally, “Ustilago striiformis sensu lato” remains the safest identification.


Ainsworth & Sampson (1950a), Almaraz (1998a), Beltran Tejera (1976a), Blumer (1946a), Brandenburger (1985a: 815), Buhr (1964b, 1865), Dietrich (2013a, 2016b), Hagen (1941a), Ivić, Sever, Scheuer & Lutz (2013a), Jage, Klenke, Kruse ao (2016a), Jage, Kruse, Kummer ao (2013a), Klenke & Scholler (2015a), Kruse (2014a, 2019a), Kruse, Dietrich, Zimmerman ao (2018a), Kummer (2012a), Redfern & Shirley (2011a), Savchenko, Carris, Castlebury ao (2014b), Savchenko & Heluta (2012a), Scholz & Scholz (2013a), Spooner & Legon (2006a), Tomasi (2012a, 2014a), Vanderweyen & Fraiture (2014a), Vánky (1994a), Vánky & Abbasi (2013a), Woods, Chater, Smith ao (2018a).

Last modified 13.xii.2022