Home • Microbotryum violaceum p1A1 Lamole v1.0
Please note that this organism is for archival use only. Please see the current Microbotryum lychnidis-dioicae p1A1 Lamole site for the latest data and information.
Microbotryum violaceum on Silene alba
Microbotryum violaceum on Silene alba. Image from Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microbotryum_violaceum)

This genome was sequenced and annotated by The Broad Institute and the text below is copied from there. In order to allow comparative analyses with other fungi, a copy of this genome was imported into MycoCosm.

Microbotryum violaceum is an experimentally tractable heterobasidiomycete fungal pathogen; it is an obligate biotroph which must complete its life cycle in a host plant. Dark teliospore masses give infected flowers a "smutted" appearance, thus the name "another smut". The disease sterilizes but does not kill the host plant, and infecting teliospores are spread between plants by pollinating insects [1]. M. violaceum provides an exciting system to study the evolution of host/pathogen interactions in wild, non-agricultural environments [1, 2], where host populations are more heterogeneous than for agricultural pathogens. M. violaceum also serves as a model for emerging infectious disease through host shifts [2], for studying the evolution of sexual systems and sex chromosomes [3], and for identifying genes involved in pathogeneticity [4].


  1. Alexander, H.M., An experimental field study of anther-smut disease of Silene alba caused by Ustilago violacea: genotypic variation and disease incidence. Evolution, 1989. 43: p. 835-847.
  2. Antonovics, J., M.E. Hood, and J. Partain, The ecology and genetics of host shift: Microbotryum as a model system. American Naturalist, 2002. 160: p. S40-S53.
  3. Hood, M.E., J. Antonovics, and B. Koskella, Shared forces of sex chromosome evolution in haploid-mating and diploid-mating organisms: Microbotryum violaceum and other model organisms. Genetics, 2004. 168(1): p. 141-6.
  4. Hughes, C.F. and M.H. Perlin, Differential expression of mepA, mepC and smtE during growth and development of Microbotryum violaceum. Mycologia, 2005. 97(3): p. 605-11.