Arctic Life/Arctic Fungi/Basidiomycetes/Order Ustilaginales
This group of fungi includes the plant pathogens commonly referred to as smuts. Smut fungi are biotrophs that complete their life cycle on a single host and in one growing season. Smuts produce a systemic infection within their host, infesting the plant's reproductive tissue (e.g., anther or ovary). This tissue is replaced with a mass of mycelium, which subsequently separates into a swollen mass of dry black spores. Various smut fungi occur on vascular plants in the Arctic including, Antracoidea species on sedges (Carex sp. and Kobresia sp.), Ustilago vinosa on mountain sorrel, Oxyria dignya, and Orphanomyces arcticus on sedges, Carex sp.