Michael E. HOOD1
*, Oscar J. ROCHA2
and Janis ANTONOVICS1
" Department of Biology, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 400328, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4328, USA.
# Escuela de BiologiTa, Universidad de Costa Rica, San JoseT, Costa Rica.
Received 3 January 2000; accepted 18 November 2000.
Microbotryum violaceum (anther-smut) from Silene caroliniana and S. virginica produced promycelia that frequently appeared to contain
more than three cells according to the number of septations. This is in contrast to samples from S. latifolia and to previous
descriptions of this species. Apparent four-celled promycelia contained three nucleate cells and one anucleate zone. Anucleate zones
were usually positioned between the first and third cells of the promycelium. Their presence was negatively correlated with the
occurrence of intra-promycelial conjugation. Also, unlike isolates from Silene latifolia, isolates from S. caroliniana and S. virginica
produced hyphae in the absence of an inducing agent.
In the smut fungi, teliospore germination has been studied
extensively because details of this process were considered to
provide important taxonomic characters (Duran & Safeeulla
1968, Ingold 1983, 1999). In addition, there has been
considerable interest in teliospore germination because events