( 2001 )
Phylogeny and origin of 82 zygomycetes from all 54 genera of the Mucorales and Mortierellales based on combined analysis of actin and translation elongation factor EF-1alpha genes.
PMID : 11404008 : DOI : 10.1016/s0378-1119(01)00464-4
True fungi (Eumycota) are heterotrophic eukaryotic microorganisms encompassing ascomycetes, basidiomycetes, chytridiomycetes and zygomycetes. The natural systematics of the latter group, Zygomycota, are very poorly understood due to the lack of distinguishing morphological characters. We have determined sequences for the nuclear-encoded genes actin (act) from 82 zygomycetes representing all 54 currently recognized genera from the two zygomycetous orders Mucorales and Mortierellales. We also determined sequences for translation elongation factor EF-1alpha (tef) from 16 zygomycetes (total of 96,837 bp). Phylogenetic analysis in the context of available sequence data (total 2,062 nucleotide positions per species) revealed that current classification schemes for the mucoralean fungi are highly unnatural at the family and, to a large extent, at the genus level. The data clearly indicate a deep, ancient and distinct dichotomy of the orders Mucorales and Mortierellales, which are recognized only in some zygomycete systems. Yet at the same time the data show that two genera - Umbelopsis and Micromucor - previously placed within the Mortierellales on the basis of their weakly developed columella (a morphological structure of the sporangiophore well-developed within all Mucorales) are in fact members of the Mucorales. Phylogenetic analyses of the encoded amino acid sequences in the context of homologues from eukaryotes and archaebacterial outgroups indicate that the Eumycota studied here are a natural group but provide little or no support for the monophyly of either zygomycetes, ascomycetes or basidiomycetes. The data clearly indicate that a complete revision of zygomycete natural systematics is necessary.