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   » » Wiki: Chytridiomycota
Tag Wiki 'Chytridiomycota'.

Chytridiomycota are a division of organisms in the kingdom , informally known as chytrids. The name is derived from the ( ), meaning "little pot", describing the structure containing unreleased . Chytrids are one of the early diverging fungal lineages, and their membership in kingdom Fungi is demonstrated with , a posterior whiplash , absorptive nutrition, use of as an energy storage compound, and synthesis of by the -amino (AAA) pathway.

Chytrids are , degrading refractory materials such as and , and sometimes act as . There has been a significant increase in the research of chytrids since the discovery of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the causal agent of .

Species of Chytridiomycota have traditionally been delineated and classified based on development, morphology, substrate, and method of zoöspore discharge. However, single spore isolates (or isogenic lines) display a great amount of variation in many of these features; thus, these features cannot be used to reliably classify or identify a species. Currently, taxonomy in Chytridiomycota is based on molecular data, zoöspore and some aspects of thallus morphology and development.

In an older and more restricted sense (not used here), the term "chytrids" referred just to those fungi in the class . Here, the term "chytrid" refers to all members of Chytridiomycota.

The chytrids have also been included among the , but are now regularly classed as fungi.

In older classifications, chytrids, except the recently established order Spizellomycetales, were placed in the class under the subphylum Myxomycophyta of the kingdom Fungi. Previously, they were placed in the as the class Chytridiomycetes. The other classes of the Mastigomycotina, the Hyphochytriomycetes and , were removed from the fungi to be classified as .

The class has over 750 chytrid species distributed among ten orders.

(2022). 9783642553172, Springer. .
Additional classes include the Monoblepharidomycetes, with two orders, and the Hyaloraphidiomycetes with a single order.
(2012). 9781578087235, CRC Press. .

Molecular phylogenetics, and other techniques such as analysis, has greatly increased the understanding of chytrid phylogeny, and led to the formation of several new phyla:

  • The order , originally within the Chytridiomycota, are now classified as a separate phylum, the Blastocladiomycota.
  • The Neocallimastigales, originally an order of anaerobic of the class Chytridiomycetes, found in the digestive tracts of herbivores, was later raised to a separate phylum, the Neocallimastigomycota.
  • The , including the , formerly classified in the order , were raised to a separate phylum, the .

Life cycle and body plan
Chytridiomycota are unusual among the Fungi in that they reproduce with zoöspores. For most members of Chytridiomycota, sexual reproduction is not known. Asexual reproduction occurs through the release of zoöspores (presumably) derived through .

Where it has been described, sexual reproduction of chytrids occurs via a variety of methods. It is generally accepted that the resulting zygote forms a resting spore, which functions as a means of surviving adverse conditions. In some members, sexual reproduction is achieved through the fusion of (gametes of the same size and shape). This group includes the notable plant pathogens . Some algal parasites practice oögamy: A motile male gamete attaches itself to a nonmotile structure containing the female gamete. In another group, two produce tubes that fuse and allow the gametes to meet and fuse. In the last group, rhizoids of compatible strains meet and fuse. Both nuclei migrate out of the zoösporangium and into the conjoined rhizoids where they fuse. The resulting zygote germinates into a resting spore.

Sexual reproduction is common and well known among members of the Monoblepharidomycetes. Typically, these chytrids practice a version of oögamy: The male is motile and the female is stationary. This is the first occurrence of oögamy in kingdom Fungi. Briefly, the monoblephs form oögonia, which give rise to eggs, and antheridia, which give rise to male gametes. Once fertilized, the zygote either becomes an encysted or motile oöspore, which ultimately becomes a resting spore that will later germinate and give rise to new zoösporangia.

File:06 12 life cycle, asexual, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Chytridiomycota (M. Piepenbring).png|alt=A diagram displaying the life cycle of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Starting at the top and moving clockwise: A zoöspore seeks out an amphibian and encysts on the skin. It grows and develops rhizoids to anchor it and absorb nutrients. The thallus divides numerous times to form a colony of zoösoporia, which develop discharge tubes when mature. When ready, the discharge tubes open and the zoöspores are released.|Life cycle of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis File:06 11 ciclo de vida, Synchytrium endobioticum en papa, Chytridiomycota (M. Piepenbring).png|alt=Diagram of the asexual and sexual parts of the Synchytrium endobioticum life cycle.|Life cycle of Synchytrium endobioticum in potato File:Synchytridium endobioticum.jpg| Synchytrium endobioticum on potatoes.

Upon release from the germinated resting spore, zoöspores seek out a suitable substrate for growth using or . Some species encyst and germinate directly upon the substrate; others encyst and germinate a short distance away. Once germinated, enzymes released from the zoöspore begin to break down the substrate and utilize it produce a new thallus. Thalli are and usually form no true (having instead).

Chytrids have several different growth patterns. Some are holocarpic, which means they only produce a and . Others are eucarpic, meaning they produce other structures, such as , in addition to the zoösporangium and zoöspores. Some chytrids are monocentric, meaning a single zoöspore gives rise to a single zoösporangium. Others are polycentric, meaning one zoöspore gives rise to many zooöporangium connected by a rhizomycelium. Rhizoids do not have nuclei while a rhizomycelium can.

File:06 10 types of thalli, Chytridiomycota (M. Piepenbring).png|alt=Line drawing diagram of the five major classifications of chytrid thalli displayed in two columns. At the top of the left column is a diagram of a eucarpic, monocentric chytrid thallus before and after zoöspore discharge. Below that is a diagram of an epibotic chytrid followed by a diagram of an endobiotic chytrid. At the top of the right column is a diagram of a holocarpic chytrid thallus. Below that is a diagram of a eucarpic polycentric chytrid thallus.|Types of chytrid thalli File:8-30-11 Crowned Duckweed Chytrid (2).jpg|alt=A zoösporangium of Phylctochytrium sp. on a duckweed frond. The zoösporangium is empty and the spines that had crowned it are folded back. Suspended above the empty zoösporangium is a mass of zoöspores.|Zoöspore discharge from Phylctochytrium sp. File:CSIRO ScienceImage 1392 Scanning Electron Micrograph of Chytrid Fungus.jpg|alt=Scanning elecron image of a sporangium of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. The sproangium is sphereical with four discharge papillae spaced equidistant around the circumference of the sphere.| and of the chytrid fungus B. dendrobatidis, under a scanning electron microscope File:Chytrid under the microscope.webm|alt=A video of zoöspores being released from a chytrid thallus.|Chytrid and under the microscope

Growth continues until a new batch of zoöspores are ready for release. Chytrids have a diverse set of release mechanisms that can be grouped into the broad categories of operculate or inoperculate. Operculate discharge involves the complete or incomplete detachment of a lid-like structure, called an operculum, allowing the zoöspores out of the sporangium. Inoperculate chytrids release their zoöspores through pores, slits, or papillae.

Chytrids are aquatic fungi, though those that thrive in the capillary network around soil particles are typically considered terrestrial. The zoöspore is primarily a means of thoroughly exploring a small volume of water for a suitable substrate rather than a means of long-range dispersal.

Chytrids have been isolated from a variety of aquatic habitats, including peats, bogs, rivers, ponds, springs, and ditches, and terrestrial habitats, such as acidic soils, alkaline soils, temperate forest soils, rainforest soils, Arctic and Antarctic soils. This has led to the belief that many chytrid species are ubiquitous and cosmopolitan. However, recent taxonomic work has demonstrated that this ubiquitous and cosmopolitan morphospecies hide cryptic diversity at the genetic and ultrastructural levels. It was first thought aquatic chytrids (and other zoösporic fungi) were primarily active in fall, winter, and spring. However, recent molecular inventories of lakes during the summer indicate that chytrids are an active, diverse part of the eukaryotic microbial community.

One of the least expected terrestrial environments the chytrid thrive in are periglacial soils. The population of the Chytridiomycota species are able to be supported even though there is a lack of plant life in these frozen regions due to the large amounts of water in periglacial soil and pollen blowing up from below the timberline.

Ecological functions

Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis
The chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is responsible for , a disease of amphibians. Discovered in 1998 in and this disease is known to kill in large numbers, and has been suggested as a principal cause for the worldwide amphibian decline. Outbreaks of the fungus were found responsible for killing much of the Kihansi Spray Toad population in its native habitat of , as well as the extinction of the in 1989. Chytridiomycosis has also been implicated in the presumed extinction of the Southern Gastric Brooding Frog, last seen in the wild in 1981, and the Northern Gastric Brooding Frog, last recorded in the wild in March 1985. The process leading to frog mortality is thought to be the loss of essential ions through pores made in the epidermal cells by the chytrid during its replication.

Recent research has revealed that elevating salt levels slightly may be able to cure chytridiomycosis in some Australian frog species, although further experimentation is needed.

Other parasites
Chytrids mainly infect algae and other and microbes. The infection can be so severe as to control primary production within the lake. It has been suggested that parasitic chytrids have a large effect on lake and pond food webs. Chytrids may also infect plant species; in particular, Synchytrium endobioticum is an important pathogen.

Arguably, the most important ecological function chytrids perform is decomposition. These ubiquitous and cosmopolitan organisms are responsible for decomposition of refractory materials, such as , , , and . There are also chytrids that live and grow on pollen by attaching threadlike structures, called rhizoids, onto the pollen grains. This mostly occurs during asexual reproduction because the zoöspores that become attached to the pollen continuously reproduce and form new chytrids that will attach to other pollen grains for nutrients. This colonization of pollen happens during the spring time when bodies of water accumulate pollen falling from trees and plants.

Fossil record
The earliest of chytrids are from the , a -age lagerstätte with anatomical preservation of and fungi. Among the microfossils are chytrids preserved as on . These fossils closely resemble the modern genus Allomyces. Holocarpic chytrid remains were found in cherts from Combres in central France that date back to the late . These remains were found along with eucarpic remains and are ambiguous in nature although they are thought to be of chytrids. Other chytrid-like fossils were found in cherts from the upper Pennsylvanian in the Basin in , dating between 300~350 ma.

In fictional media
The novel (2007) features a species of chytrid that feeds on petroleum and oil-based products. In the story the species is modified using nuclear radiation, to increase the rate at which it feeds on oil. It is then used by Islamic extremists in an attempt to destroy the world's oil supplies, thereby taking away the technological advantage of the .
(2022). 9780425218242, Penguin Group. .

The by Ethan Kocak features an arc with an evil, anthropomorphic chytrid developed as a Nazi experiment to infect Xolotl, a giant, talking black .

External links
  • — Includes links on how to isolate and culture chytrids.

  • and how it impacts amphibians kept as domestic pets in the .

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