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A review of the taxonomy, biology and infection strategies of "biflagellate holocarpic" parasites of nematodes

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sally Glockling, Dr Gordon Beakes


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This review discusses the taxonomy, patterns of sporogenesis and modes of infection of a group of little studied holocapic pathogens of bactivorous nematodes (and rotifers) from terrestrial and marine habitats. These holocarpic obligate parasites have been traditionally placed within the "lagenidiaceous oomycetes" although Haptoglossa had been placed in the Saprolegniales. The nematode pathogens that will be discussed fall within the genera Clamydomyzium, Gonimocheate, Haptoglossa and Myzocytiopsis. The patterns of asexual and sexual sporogenesis will be described in detail in the light of recent ultrastructural studies that we have undertaken. We conclude by discussing the main infection strategies employed by these organisms which we categorise into active and passive types. In the former, zoospores actively locate their host (by chemotaxis) and encyst on the host surface immediately prior to infection. In the latter types, the zoospores or aplanospores rapidly germinate to form either specialised adhesive structures (in Myzocytiopsidalean species) or specialised infective cells (in Haptoglossa). These "primed spores" attach to or fire in response to host contact. From these studies we conclude that these groups are probably fairly diverse and it is likely that their taxonomic status will have to be substantially revised in the light of ongoing ultrastructural and molecular studies.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Glockling SL, Beakes GW

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Fungal Diversity

Year: 2000

Volume: 4

Pages: 1-20

ISSN (print): 1560-2745

ISSN (electronic): 1878-9129