Spore dimensions of Puccinia species of cereal hosts as determined by image analysis

Y. Anikster, T. Eilam, W. R. Bushnell, E. Kosman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Digital image analysis was used to measure dimensions of spores produced by Puccinia coronata, P. graminis, P. hordei, P. recondita, P. striiformis and P. triticina. Included were teliospores, basidiospores, urediniospores and, except for P. striiformis, pycniospores and aeciospores. Length, width and projection area of spores were measured with NIH Image or Scion software. By using limits on size, spores were automatically selected and measured, except for teliospores, which required manual elimination of the pedicel and separation of images of adhering spores. Length and width were determined as the major and minor axes of the best fitting ellipse for each spore. This procedure gave values for length and width close to results obtained with an ocular micrometer. Projection area was determined as the number of pixels within spore boundaries multiplied by the area represented by each pixel, giving values that are not feasible to obtain accurately with an ocular micrometer. Of the species studied, spores of P. recondita had the largest dimensions, P. triticina had the smallest. The rank of the six species based on increasing width, length or projection area was almost the same, using each spore type except pycniospores. Generally, differences of 5% in a given spore dimension between two species were significant. Differences between species were greater with basidiospores and aeciospores than with other spore types. Teliospores were unique in that length and width were negatively correlated, resulting in less variation in area than in length or width. The results indicate that image analysis is useful for measuring spore dimensions, that projection area of spores is a useful added parameter for characterizing rust species and that dimensions of teliospores, basidiospores, aeciospores and urediniospores each are potentially useful for differentiating species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-484
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Aeciospore
  • Basidiospore
  • Coronata
  • Graminis
  • Hordei
  • Pycniospore
  • Recondita
  • Striiformis
  • Teliospore
  • Triticina
  • Urediniospore


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