Puccinia chondrillina
Order: Fungus
Family: Uredinales
Common Name: Rush Skeleton Rust   

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Close up Picture     Microscopic View        Rust Spores     Rust Killing the Plant's Leaf     Leaf Decaying From Rust     

Puccinia chondrillina
Eric Coombs, Oregon Department of Agriculture, www.forestryimages.org

Host to Puccinia chondrillina: skeletonweed (Chondrilla juncea)  (6)

Origin:  The host of this fungus (rush skeletonweed) was first identified in the 1870's in the northeastern part of the United States.  Primarily New York, Maryland, and West Virginia.  In the northwestern part of the United States it was first identified in 1938 in Spokane County, Washington.  This fungus has now spread world wide to Argentina, Australia, Italy, Lebanon, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, and of course, the United States.(1)

Effects of Rush Skeletonweed Rust:  Puccinia chondrillina infects the upper and lower parts of the leaves on the host plants usually in the spring  or fall.  If the plant is young when this fungus is spread to it, it may die of over-infection.  Puccinia chondrillina can slow down the growing of a plant and even reduce the size of the plant.  It can also damage the plant's reproduction system. (1)  Note:  Some varieties of Rush Skeletonweed are
 resistant to the fungus. (2)

Life Cycle of Rush Skeletonweed Rust:  The postulates are dark brown and usually stay dormant durring the winter months.  When the spring comes, the fungus starts to reproduce.  Spores are created in little, yellow, fruiting bodies that form on the plant's leaves.  These fruiting bodies produce airborne spores that are spread to other host plants by wind and rain.  You may not see the fungus start forming on the plant until 12 to16 days after inoculation.  Also see: Life Cycle of  Rush Skeletonweed.   (1)

Availablitly of Rush Skeletonweed Rust:  When you want to try to control the spread of rush skeletonweed you can get a combination of controls.  Usually it will come in a 3 way combination: Cystiphora schmidti (insect) and Eriophyes chondrillae (insect) along with Puccinia chondrillina (fungi)Cystiphora schmidt can attack the plant's leaves and stems in its larval stage.  It will then produce galls after feeding a while on the leaves and stems.  What it basically does is reduce the plant's size and it's surface area available for photosynthesis.  Eriophyes chondrillae is a mite that eventually disturbs the seed production of rush skeletonweed and the growth.  The mite attacks the buds of the plant and thus will reduce the amount of the carbohydrates in reserve in the plant's roots which will reduce the amount of vigor the plant has. (3)

How to Collect, Transfer, and Redstribute:   To find information on how to collect, transfer and redistribute, see Purchase Biological Control Agents.  Also, in the state of Montana, see your Montana Weed Distribution.  Your local weed distribution should be able to give you all the information that you need to collect Rush Skeletonweed, how to transfer it carefully, redistribute it and take care of it.  (7

Related Links:


(1)  Rush Skeletonweed.
Rush SkeletonWeed. 12 July 2004. Grandview Heights.  21 Jan 2005  <http://www.cdeaton.com/GrandviewHeights/NoxiousWeeds/rush_skeleton_weed.htm

(2)  Rush Skeletonweed Pucinnia juncea L.. 
1997.  Ministry of Forests.  28 Jan 2005

(3)  Rush Skeletonweed Bioagents. 
Rush Skeletonweed Bioagents.  2003.  Ferry County Cooperative Extension.  21 Jan 2005   <http://ferry.wsu.edu/Agriculture/skeletonweed.htm>   
(4)  Integrate Weed Control. 
Weed Control.  2000-2003.  Integrated Weed Control.  3 Feb 2004

(5)  Biological Control Agents
.  Biological Control Angents.  1997.  Ministry of  Forests.  5 Feb 2005  <

(6)  Rush Skeletonweed RustPuccinia chondrillina Bubak & Sydenham- "Rush Skeletonweed Rust".  March 2005.  Enviromental Laboratory.  17 March 2005  <http://el.erdc.usace.army.mil/pmis/biocontrol/html/puccinia.html>

(7)  Biological Control Agents.  Purchase Biological Control Angents.  23 Jan 2005.  Montana Weed Distribution.  10 Feb 2005  <http://mtwow.org/Montana-Counties-2.htm>

By: Stevey Still, March 17, 2005.

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