Home • Urocystis occulta CBS 102.71 v1.0
Urocystis occulta culture on PDA. Bar = 5 mm. Photo: Teeratas Kijpornyongpan.
Urocystis occulta culture on PDA. Bar = 5 mm. Photo: Teeratas Kijpornyongpan.

Smut fungi are teliospore-forming plant pathogens belonging to the basidiomycetous early-diverging lineage Ustilaginomycotina. Smut-like fungi comprise seven of the 15 orders of the subphylum (Kijpornyongpan et al. 2018). Most described smuts belong to two orders, Ustilaginales and Tilletiales, and infect graminaceous plant hosts.  However, members of other smut lineages can infect a broad range of hosts in several monocot and dicot families (Begerow et al. 2014).

Urocystidales, the sister order to Ustilaginales, currently has ca. 270 described smut species classified in 12 genera (Vánky 2012). Urocystis, one of the representative genera of the order, provides an example of a smut genus that has a wide host range. The type species U. occulta (Wallr.) A.A. Fisch. Waldh (1867), was described as a pathogen on rye (Secale cereale).

The genome sequence of U. occulta will provide the second reference genome for a member of Urocystidales. Researchers will use these data in phylogenetic and phylogenomic reconstructions and in comparative genomics studies that attempt to elucidate the molecular bases governing of pathogenic mechanisms, and the evolution of phytopathogenicity in Ustilaginomycotina.

If you would like to use this genome in your research, please contact Dr. M. Catherine Aime ([email protected]) and Dr. Igor Grigoriev ([email protected]) for permission.


Begerow D, Schäfer AM, Kellner R, Yurkov A, Kemler M, Oberwinkler F, Bauer R. 2014. Ustilaginomycotina. PP 295–329 In: The Mycota. Vol. VII Part A. Systematics and Evolution. 2nd Ed. McLaughlin DJ, Spatafora JW (Eds.) Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

Fischer von Waldheim, A. A. 1867. Sur la structure des spores des Ustilaginées. Bulletin de la Société impériale des naturalistes de Moscou 40: 242–261.

Kijpornyongpan T, Mondo SJ, Barry K, Sandor L, Lee J, Lipzen A, Pangilinan J, LaButti K, Hainaut M, Henrissat H, Grigoriev IV, Aime MC. 2018. Broad Genomic Sampling Reveals a Smut Pathogenic Ancestry of the Fungal Clade Ustilaginomycotina. Molecular Biology and Evolution 109(8):1127-39. doi: 10.1007/s10482-016-0715-4.

Vánky. 2012. Smut fungi of the world. APS Press, St. Paul.