Fungal group. Uredinales. Basidiomycetes.



Approx. 14 families, 105 genera and 5,000 species.

Where Found

Grasses, flowers, trees and other living plant materials.

Mode of Dissemination

Rusts have both wet and dry spores. Wind disperses the urediospores, teliospores, basidiospores, and aeciospores. The basidiospores and aeciospores have an active spore release mechanism.

Growth Indoors

Rusts do not grow indoors unless their host plants are present. They are parasitic plant pathogens and need a living host for growth.

Industrial Uses

Not known.

Other Comments

Rusts are members of the Basidiomycetes class. They have a complex life cycle, producing five different spore types in two different plant hosts. Spore types include: basidiospores, pycniospores, aeciospores, urediospores, and teliospores.

Potential Health Effects


Type I allergies (hay fever, asthma).

Potential Opportunist or Pathogen

No reports of human infection.

Potential Toxin Production

Not known.

Laboratory Notes

Growth/Culture Characterisics

Rusts do not grow on ordinary laboratory media. They require a living host plant for growth.

Spore Trap Recognition

Rust urediospores and teliospores are airborne; they are distinctive and readily identifiable on spore trap slides.

Tape Lift Recognition

Urediospores and teliospores are distinctive and readily identifiable on tape lifts. They may be found in dust as part of the normal influx of outdoor microbial particles.