Chytridiomycota Chytridiomycota

The Chytridiomycota are characterized by their production of motile, flagellate zoospores. They are mainly saprophytic, although they include some notable parasites, such as Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the causative agent of chytridiomycosis, responsible for the recent decline in frog populations.

Chytrids are found in both terrestrial and aquatic environments (mostly in fresh water), and also in the rumens of ruminant mammals where they enable them to digest cellulose. They are coenocytic (lacking septa). They are usually unicellular and produce rhizoids instead of true mycelia.

Rhizophydium chytrid

Image showing a Rhizophydium chytrid infecting Oscillatoria. Courtesy of Dr Gordon Beakes © University of Newcastle upon Tyne taken from Bioscience ImageBank.

 

 

 

 

Rhizophydium magarhizum

Image R. megarhizum chytrid infecting Oscillatoria. Courtesy of Dr Gordon Beakes © University of Newcastle upon Tyne taken from Bioscience ImageBank.