Home • Blastocladiella britannica v1.0
Blastocladiella britannica JEL711. Photo by Joyce Longcore.
Blastocladiella britannica JEL711. Photo by Joyce Longcore.

Blastocladiella cf. britannica JEL711 is a saprotrophic chytrid in the order Blastocladiales. Here the cf. refers to the fact that the strain is similar to the species concept of B. britannica, but cannot be placed with certainty in this species. This strain was isolated from soil collected at Eagle Summit in Alaska using snake skin as bait.  It can be cultivated on nutrient agar.  Blastocladiella is a member of the Blastocladiomycota, which is an ecologically diverse group of fungi that typically produce thick walled resting spores that can survive desiccation. Previously, Porter et al. (2011) showed that Blastocladiella was possibly paraphyletic.  The species Blastocladiella emersonii is known as a model species for studying cell biology and protein synthesis (e.g., Lovett 1975) and has been successfully genetically transformed in the lab using Agrobacterium (Vieira and Camilo 2011).

Sequencing of Blastocladiella cf britannica JEL711 will help provide additional much needed taxon sampling to resolve the phylogenetic placement of Blastocladiomycota in the fungal tree of life.   A well-resolved and populated fungal tree of life with complete genomes will improve our understanding of the evolution of genes and enhance our ability to perform metagenomic studies.

References:
Lovett, J. S. (1975). Growth and differentiation of the water mold Blastocladiella emersonii: cytodifferentiation and the role of ribonucleic acid and protein synthesis. Bacteriological Rev. 39: 345-404.

Porter, T. M., W. W. Martin, T. Y. James, J. E. Longcore, F. Gleason, P. H. Adler, P. M. Letcher, and R. Vilgalys. (2011). Molecular phylogeny of the Blastocladiomycota (Fungi) based on nuclear ribosomal data. Fungal Biol. 115: 381-392.

Vieira, A. L. G., and Camilo, C. M. (2011). Agrobacterium tumefasciens-mediated transformation of the aquatic fungus Blastocladiella emersonii. Fungal Gen. Biol. 48: 806-811.