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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Temporal and spatial dispersal of Thekopsora areolata basidiospores, aeciospores, and urediniospores

Zhang, Ke; Kaitera, Juha; Samils, Berit; Olson, Ake


Cherry spruce rust causes huge yield losses in Norway spruce seed production in Fennoscandia. The causal agent, Thekopsora areolata, has three types of spores that disperse during spring: basidiospores are produced on basidia that grow out from teliospores in overwintered bird cherry leaf litter to infect new pistillate spruce cones, aeciospores are released from old diseased spruce cones to infect bird cherry leaves, and urediniospores are produced from new bird cherry leaves for reinfection. No study has examined the dispersal of T. areolata spores, including the basidiospores that cause primary infection in spruce cones. In this study, teliospores of T. areolata were germinated in the laboratory and the morphology of basidiospores was described. T. areolata spores were sampled in Ultuna, Sweden and Joutsa, Finland with 21 spore traps at each site. Peaks in aeciospores were observed from 11 to 25 May and from 2 to 8 June at the Finnish site, and from 4 to 18 May at the Swedish site. Urediniospores were first observed 2-3 weeks after the peaks in aeciospores and they were mainly distributed within 10 m from the bird cherry trees. Peaks of 1-2 weeks in basidiospore detection coincided with multiple rain events. The basidiospore peak overlapped with the spruce pollen peak in Finland but not in Sweden. The quantities of basidiospores from different spore traps within 100 m from the spore source had no gradient. Information on spatial and temporal spore release is important for making decisions on disease management strategies.


cherry spruce rust; Picea abies; Prunus padus; spore dispersal; spore trap

Published in

Plant Pathology
2022, Volume: 71, number: 3, pages: 668-683 Publisher: WILEY