Molecular Phylogenetic and Scanning Electron Microscopical Analyses Places the Choanephoraceae and the Gilbertellaceae in a Monophyletic Group Within The Mucorales (Zygomycetes, Fungi)


A multi-gene genealogy based on maximum parsimony and distance analyses of the exonic genes for acti. (act) and translation elongation factor 1 alph. (tef), the nuclear genes for the small (18S) and large (28S) subunit ribosomal RNA (comprising 807, 1092, 1863, 389 characters, respectively) of all 50 genera of the Mucorales (Zygomycetes) suggests that the Choanephoraceae is a monophyletic group. The monotypic Gilbertellaceae appears in close phylogenetic relatedness to the Choanephoraceae. The mono-phyly of the Choanephoraceae has moderate to strong support (bootstrap proportions 67% and 96% in distance and maximum parsimony analyses, respectively), whereas the monophyly of the Choanephoraceae-Gilbertellaceae clade is supported by high bootstrap values (100% and 98%). This suggests that the two families can be joined into one family, which leads to the elimination of the Gilbertellaceae as a separate family. In order to test this hypothesis single-locus neighbor-joining analyses were performed on nuclear genes of the 18S, 5.8S, 28S and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) 1 ribosomal RNA and the translation elongation factor 1 alph. (tef) and beta tubuli. (βtub) nucleotide sequences. The common monophyletic origin of the Choanephoraceae-Gilbertellaceae clade could be confirmed in all gene trees and by investigation of their ultrastructure. Sporangia with persistent, sutured walls splitting in half at maturity and ellipsoidal sporangiospores with striated ornamentations and polar ciliate appendages arising from spores in persistent sporangia and dehiscent sporangiola represent synapomorphic characters of this group. We discuss our data in the context of the historical development of their taxonomy and physiology and propose a reduction of the two families to one family, the Choanephoracea. sensu lato comprising species which are facultative plant pathogens and parasites, especially in subtropical to tropical regions.


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Voigt, K., Olsson, L. Molecular Phylogenetic and Scanning Electron Microscopical Analyses Places the Choanephoraceae and the Gilbertellaceae in a Monophyletic Group Within The Mucorales (Zygomycetes, Fungi). BIOLOGIA FUTURA 59, 365–383 (2008).

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  • Multigene genealogy
  • ultrastructure
  • ITS
  • nrDNA
  • protein-coding genes