Home • Geranomyces variabilis JEL559 v1.0
Irregularly shaped sporangia of Geranomyces variabilis JEL 559, photograph taken at 100x and differential interference contrast microscopy by Ludovic Le Renard.
Irregularly shaped sporangia of Geranomyces variabilis JEL 559, photograph taken at 100x and differential interference contrast microscopy by Ludovic Le Renard.

Geranomyces variabilis (JEL559) 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 previously described as Entophlyctis variabilis, and this soil-borne chytrid was the focus of physiological and morphological studies by Martha J. Powell in the 1970s. In 1980, Donald J. S. Barr segregated the Spizellomycetales from the Chytridiales based on zoosporic ultrastructural characters, moving Entophlyctis to Spizellomycetales. In 1995, Joyce E. Longcore replaced Entophlyctis, more commonly from aquatic systems, in Chytridiales based on zoosporic ultrastructure of an aquatic species. She retained the soil-borne species in Spizellomycetales, which did possess zoosporic ultrastructure indicative of the order, but transferred the species to the new genus Powellomyces, commending Prof. Martha Powell’s work on the group. In 2011, D. Rabern Simmons observed additional zoosporic ultrastructure that set this species apart from the type of Powellomyces, P. hirtus, and described it in the genus Geranomyces, based on these differences and corroborated by molecular phylogenetics. This species is perhaps the most frequently sampled species in the Spizellomycetales, with many viable cultures surviving to the present, including those studied in the 1970s. 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.