Difference Between Rust and Smut

Rust and smuts are fungal diseases that affect plants. They are named as such because the infected plants show characteristics of rust and smut, respectively. Though both are fungal diseases, there are more characteristics that distinguish them apart. Furthermore, it is important to learn about these fungal diseases as it affects a large variety of plants, including valuable crop plants. Read on to explore the differences between the two fungal plant pathogens.

Difference Between Smut and Rust

Rust

Smut

Description

Rust is a group of fungal diseases that affect plants. The name “rust” is given because the affected plants have a characteristic “rusty” appearance

Smut is another group of fungal diseases that affects plants, especially grasses. The name “smut” is given due to the sooty, black appearance in affected plants

Stage at which Characteristic Symptoms Appear

Uredospore stage

Teliospore Stage

Host Dependency

Can be either Heteroecious (fungi requires two unrealed hosts to complete its life cycle) or Autoecious

Autoecious (all the stages of the fungal life cycle occur on the same host)

Nutrition

Intercellular – using haustoria

Can either by intercellular (by means of haustoria) or intracellular

Clamp Connection

Present, but quite rare

Clamp connections are quite common

Spores – Kind

Produces up to five kinds of spores – aeciospores, teliospore, pycniospores, basidiospores and uredospores

Produces only one kind of spore- smut spores (equivalent to teliospores)

Spores – Development

The terminal cells of the mycelium give rise to teliospore

Intercalary cells give rise to smut spores

Spore – Characteristics

Teliospores are stalked, two-celled, with each cell binucleated

Smut spores can either be uninucleated or binucleated.

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