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Book Review

Illustrated Genera of Rust Fungi
Third Edition

By George B. Cummins & Yasuyuki Hiratsuka
2003; American Phytopathological Society
8.5” x 11” spiral bound; 240 pages;
53 color illustrations; 134 black & white illustrations
ISBN 978-0-89054-304-7

This excellent book—a standard in plant pathology labs—has had several revisions over a long career. The first edition (1959) was written by G.B. Cummins while the second edition (1983) and current edition (2003) was co-authored with Y. Hiratsuka. As you can imagine, the number of taxa has gone up since the first edition came out. The book nicely condenses information, arranged by genus; the genera are illustrated with drawings of the different spores and sporophores; most of the illustrations are by Dr. Cummins himself; b/w and color photos are included for some descriptions of plant disease symptomology. The Contents include: Introduction; Morphology, Life Cycles, and Cytology of Rust Fungi; Classification of Rust Fungi; Anamorph Genera of Rust Fungi; Holomorph Genera of Rust Fungi; the vast majority of content follows in the Descriptions and Illustrations of Holomorphic Genera; Appendices.

The Introduction describes what rust fungi are, their relationship to other fungal groups, their economic importance, and the relationship between host and fungi. The authors include information on collecting, ID, and preservation of material. Keys are also given to the 13 families of rust genera and to the genera themselves, arranged alphabetically in the families.

Illustrated Genera of Rust Fungi is essential for beginners as well as for academic mycologists studying this fascinating group of fungi.

— Review by Britt Bunyard
— Originally published in Fungi