Home • Chytriomyces sp. MP 71 v1.0
Chytriomyces sp. nov. MP 71. Photo by Martha Powell
Chytriomyces sp. nov. MP 71. Photo by Martha Powell

Chytriomyces sp. nov. MP 71 is a saprotrophic chytrid in the order Chytridiales, Chytridiomycota.  It was isolated on chitin added as bait to a water sample containing vegetative debris from a crawfish pond in Wagarville (Washington County), Alabama.  This chytrid is maintained in axenic culture on nutrient agar.  Chytriomyces species reproduce with posteriorly uniflagellate zoospores released from an operculate sporangium.  MP 71  thallus consists of a sporangium exhibiting a range of shapes from spherical to obpyriform or lobed and rhizoids that penetrate into the chitin substrate from a sub-sporangial swelling.  This is a vital chytrid to study because of its ability to decay chitin in aquatic systems, important in nutrient recycling and aquatic food webs.  The morphological plasticity of the sporangium makes this chytrid ideal for investigating the evolution of gene control in thallus morphogenesis.  Genome sequencing of Chytriomyces sp. nov. MP 71 is being conducted to understand better the enzymatic diversity of chytrid fungi, the genes that regulate their development and their phylogenetic relationships.
 
This undescribed species is currently in the process of formal taxonomic description by Dr. Martha Powell of the University of Alabama.