Cyllamyces aberensis gen. nov, sp. nov.: a new anaerobic gut fungus with branched sporangiophores isolated from cattle

Emin Ozkose, Barry John Thomas, David R. Davies, Gareth W. Griffith, Michael K. Theodorou

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A new genus of the anaerobic gut fungi (Neocallimastigales), Cyllamyces aberensis gen.nov. sp.nov., with bulbous holdfast, branched sporangiophores and limited polycentric thallus development is described. The fungus was isolated from fresh cattle faeces. Free-swimming zoospores were spherical, uninucleate, and uniflagellate. After encystment, zoospores germinated and gave rise to a single, bulbous holdfast. One or several branched sporangiophores were produced from different locations on the holdfast, each bearing several spherical sporangia. DAPI staining of thalli indicated that nuclei were present in the holdfast, sporangiophores, and sporangia. As many as 12 sporangia were observed per thallus on up to 5 sporangiophores, with zoosporogenesis beginning 16–18 h after encystment. Zoospore ultrastructure was examined by transmission electron microscopy and found to be similar to that reported for other anaerobic chytrid fungi. Organelles were evenly distributed throughout the cell, except for the posteriorly attached flagellum and associated attachment apparatus, the hydrogenosomes, which were mainly situated in the posterior parts of the cell and a posteriorly directed, beak-shaped nucleus. Limited polycentric thallus development (including branched sporangiophores), the possession of a single bulbous holdfast and the absence of rhizoids were stable features of this fungus that distinguished it from the other five genera of gut fungi. Therefore, we have used these characteristics to assign the fungus to a new genus, Cyllamyces, with the specific name C. aberensis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)666-673
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Journal of Botany
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2001


  • rumen
  • fungal taxonomy
  • Neocallimastigales
  • chytrid
  • zoospore unltrastructure


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