Here you will find information on members of the Phylum Chytridiomycota, including a description of genera, tips and techniques on how to isolate chytrids, current hypotheses of chytrid systematics (includes both taxonomy and phylogeny), links to other relevant websites, and a searchable reference database. The goal of this site is to provide an online resource for students, teachers, and researchers wanting to learn more about chytrids as well as an easily accessed interface for taxonomic information. For powerpoint presentations designed for the teaching classroom and laboratory, click here. Since the work on chytrid taxonomy and phylogeny is an on-going process, this site will be continually updated to reflect the changes brought about by new research.
The Phylum Chytridiomycota (chytrids) includes two classes, Chytridiomycetes and Monoblepharidomycetes (2), each of which is monophyletic based on molecular analyses (3). Because of their genetic and morphological divergence, two groups of zoosporic fungi once included among chytrids are now classified as separate Phyla, Blastocladiomycota and Neocallimastigomycota (1, 2). To see a phylogeny of zoosporic fungi based on analyses of ribosomal gene sequences (3-8) click here.
The Chytridiomycetes are currently separated into nine orders [Chytridiales (3,4,9), Rhizophydiales (5), Spizellomycetales (1), Rhizophlyctidales (6), Cladochytriales (7), Lobulomycetales (8), Polychytriales (10), Gromochytriales (11) and Mesochytriales (11)]. Molecular phylogenetic analyses (3-8) have demonstrated that each order is monophyletic with the current circumscription of the Chytridiales (9). Work is progressing on characterization of clades for groups formerly included in the Chytridiales. James et al. 2006 (3) molecular analyses place two genera assigned to the Spizellomycetales outside of the core chytrid clade. The genus Rozella appears basal to the core chytrids and Olpidium brassicae is within the radiation of zygomycetes. Thus, their classification is uncertain at this time (incertae sedis). To learn more about the orders of chytrids, click on one of the thumbnail pictures below.