Home • Ellisomyces anomalus CBS 243.57 v1.0
Figures 1 and 2) apical branches of Ellisomyces anomalus sporangiophores, terminating in few-spored sporangiola. Images by Kerry O'Donnell.
Figures 1 and 2) apical branches of Ellisomyces anomalus sporangiophores, terminating in few-spored sporangiola. Images by Kerry O'Donnell.

Ellisomyces anomalus reproduces asexually via aerial sporangiophores that form apical branches terminating in few-spored sporangiola (Figs. 1-2; i.e., small sporangia).  Sexual reproduction in this self-sterile or heterothallic species requires the mating of sexually compatible + and – strains.  Isolates of this fungus have been recovered from mouse and lizard dung and soil in California.  It is classified in the order Mucorales (phylum Mucoromycota; Spatafora et al. 2016).  This species has a checkered taxonomic history in that it was originally described as Thamnidium anomalum, later placed in the monotypic genus Ellisomyces within the Thamnidiaceae (Benny and Benjamin 1975), and subsequently placed in the Mucor racemosus group within the Mucoraceae based on phylogenetic analysis of nuclear ribosomal DNA sequence data (Walther et al. 2013).  Though reported here as Ellisomyces, phylogenetically it is nested within Mucor.  It was classified initially within the Thamnidiaceae based on morphological criteria; however, molecular phylogenetic analyses show this family is polyphyletic (O’Donnell et al. 2001; Walther et al. 2013).  Comparative phylogenomic analyses of E. anomalus whole-genome sequence data should provide insight into the evolution of early diverging fungi, thereby advancing the primary objective of the 1000 Fungal Genome Project.

References:

Benny GL, Benjamin RK. 1975. Observations on Thamnidiaceae (Mucorales). New Taxa, new combinations, and notes on selected species. Aliso 8:301─351.

O’Donnell K, Lutzoni F, Ward TJ, Benny GL. 2001. Evolutionary relationships among mucoralean fungi (Zygomycota): Evidence for family polyphyly on a large scale. Mycologia 93:286─296.

Spatafora JW, Chang Y, Benny GL, Lazarus K, Smith ME, Berbee ML, Bonito G, Corradi N, Grigoriev I, Gryganskyi A, James TY, O’Donnell K, Roberson RW, Taylor TN, Uehling J, Vilgalys R, White MM, Stajich JE. 2016. A phylum-level phylogenetic classification of zygomycete fungi based on genome-scale data. Mycologia 108:1028─1046.

Walther G, Pawłowska J, Alastruey-Izquierdo A, Wrzosek M, Rodriguez-Tudela JL, Dolatabadi S, Chakrabarti A, de Hoog GS. 2013. DNA barcoding in Mucorales: an inventory of biodiversity. Persoonia 30:11–47.