The Blastocladiomycota is a recently described phylum of ecologically diverse zoosporic fungi whose species have not been thoroughly sampled and placed within a molecular phylogeny. In this study, we investigated the phylogeny of the Blastocladiomycota based on ribosomal DNA sequences from strains identified by traditional morphological and ultrastructural characters. Our results support the monophyly of the Coelomomycetaceae and Physodermataceae but the Blastocladiaceae and Catenariaceae are paraphyletic or polyphyletic. The data support two clades within Allomyces with strains identified as Allomyces arbusculus in both clades, suggesting that species concepts in Allomyces are in need of revision. A clade of Catenaria species isolated from midge larvae group separately from other Catenaria species, suggesting that this genus may need revision. In the Physodermataceae, Urophlyctis species cluster with a clade of Physoderma species. The algal parasite Paraphysoderma sedebokerensis nom. prov. clusters sister to other taxa in the Physodermataceae. Catenomyces persicinus, which has been classified in the Catenariaceae, groups with the Chytridiomycota rather than Blastocladiomycota. The rDNA operon seems to be suitable for classification within the Blastocladiomycota and distinguishes among genera; however, this region alone is not suitable to determine the position of the Blastocladiomycota among other basal fungal phyla with statistical support. A focused effort to find and isolate, or directly amplify DNA from additional taxa will be necessary to evaluate diversity in this phylum. We provide this rDNA phylogeny as a preliminary framework to guide further taxon and gene sampling and to facilitate future ecological, morphological, and systematic studies.
Copyright © 2011 The British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.