Home • Fimicolochytrium jonesii JEL569 v1.0
Fimicolochytrium jonesii JEL569. Photo by Joyce E. Longcore.
Fimicolochytrium jonesii JEL569. Photo by Joyce E. Longcore.

Fimicolochytrium jonesii (JEL569) is an exogenous, inoperculate chytrid species cultured from spruce pollen baiting of dried manure from a farm in Alpena, Michigan in 2007. This species was formerly part of the Powellomyces species complex in the Spizellomycetales, but D. Rabern Simmons and Joyce E. Longcore described Fimicolochytrium in 2012 based on zoosporic and thallus morphological differences from Powellomyces, corroborated by molecular phylogenetics (Rabern & Longcore, 2012). The genus Fimicolochytrium was derived from the word fimicolous, meaning “of or pertaining to an organism that lives on or in animal excrement,” due to the type culture JEL569 and additional cultures being isolated from manure or garden soil that had received manure applications for over 30 years. One ultrastructural characteristic of the zoospore is the insertion of the lipid-associated microbody into the kinetosome of the flagellum, theoretically providing energy from the digestion of a lipid globule, directly powering the motility of the zoospore. The genus contains two species: F. jonesii, named for D. Rabern Simmons’s undergraduate mycological mentor Dr. Kevin G. Jones, a former postdoctoral researcher with Dr. Meredith Blackwell, and F. alabamae, found in soils from Alabama and North Carolina. The physiological role of these chytrids in soils, animal hosts, and excrement remain inconclusive, and the current genome sequencing project will test their ecological function through identification of gene products involved in carbohydrate and protein degradation. No resting structures have been observed, though it is thought that they must exist to allow the chytrids to be consumed and pass through an animal host’s digestive tract, if that is in fact part of their life cycle. Genome sequencing is being used to investigate the systematics of chytrids using a phylogenomic approach. Complete genomes and predicted proteomes will help shed light on the ecological role and life cycles of the chytrid fungi.

References:

D. Rabern Simmons & Joyce E. Longcore (2012) Thoreauomyces gen. nov., Fimicolochytrium gen. nov. and additional species in Geranomyces, Mycologia, 104:5, 1229-1243, DOI: 10.3852/12-015