New Disease Reports (2009) 20, 17.

First report of Puccinia bornmuelleri on Levisticum officinale (lovage) in Austria

A. Plenk* and G. Bedlan

Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES), Institute for Plant Health, Spargelfeldstrasse 191, A 1220 Vienna, Austria


Accepted: 30 Nov 2009

Levisticum officinale (lovage) is cultivated as a spice or herb in Austria in fields, nurseries and garden plots. Usually only leaf spot diseases, e. g. Ramularia spp., are known to occur on L. officinale. It was therefore unusual when some specimens of L. officinale withrust pustules on leaves and leaf stalks were found in a garden plot in Vienna in mid–September, 2007. The rust was identified by symptoms and microscopy as Puccinia bornmuelleri. This fungus was first detected by Bornmüller on leaves and stems of L. persicum (= L. officinale) in 1892 in Iran between Kerman and Bender-Abbas on the Kuh-i-Häsar mountain at an elevation of 3400 - 3500 m and described by Magnus as P. bornmuelleri in 1899 (Magnus, 1899). Petrak (1966) reported this fungus on L. persicum from Afghanistan . Since then P. bornmuelleri has been reported from L. officinale only in the Czech Republic in 2006 (Müller & Šafrankova, 2007) and in Romania from 2000 onwards (Tănase et al., 2007). Magnus (1899) described the urediniospores as 28-38 x 18-26 µm in diameter and the teliospores as 32-54 x 19-32 µm. (The type specimen has been examined: Herbarium J. Bornmüller [Flora Persiae austr.] in Herb.Mus.Hist.Natur.Vindob. [W], No. 18846.)

In the Austrian sample we found both urediniospores and teliospores in their respective pustules (Fig. 1). Urediniospores had mean dimensions of 40 x 27 µm with evenly spread small spines all over the surface, and the teliospores measured (30)32-47(50) x (16)20-28(30) µm and had a fine granulate surface (Fig. 2). Infected plants are worthless for culinary use, and therefore infection of this rust on L. officinale can cause great damage.

Figure 1: Figure 1: Sori of urediniospores and teliospores on leaves and leaf stalks
Figure 2: Urediniospores and teliospores stained with “Wittmann’s Blue”, containing aniline-blue


  1. Magnus P, 1899. J. Bornmüller. Iter Persico-turcicum 1892/93. Fungi. Pars II. Ein Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Pilze des Orients. – Verhandlungen der Kaiserlich-Königlichen zoologisch-botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien 49, 87-103.
  2. Müller J, Šafrankova I, 2007. Occurrence of Puccinia bornmuelleri Magnus in the Czech Republic . Acta Universitatis Agriculturae et Silviculturae Mendeleianae BrunensisLV (No. 2) 95-98 (abstract).
  3. Petrak F, 1966. Kleine Beiträge zur Ustilaginee- und Uredineenflora von Afghanistan und Pakistan. Sydowia 20, 278-287.
  4. Tănase C, Gjærum H B, Constantinescu O, 2007. Puccinia bornmuelleri on cultivated Levisticum. Mycologia Balcanica, 4, 75-76.
This report was formally published in Plant Pathology

©2009 The Authors