Discovery of Novel Chytrid fungi Belonging to Rhizophydiomycetes in Korea

The class Rhizophydiomycetes is a basal fungal lineage that is distributed worldwide and inhabited in terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments. Its morphological feature is the presence of motile single flagellated zoospores. During study on the fungal diversity of the chytrid fungi, 30 chytrid strains belonging to Rhizophydiomycetes were isolated from different soil and freshwater samples collected at various areas including Buan, Cheongyang, Daejeon, Dokdo, Gimje, Gochang, Gwangju, Jangseong, Jeju, Jeongeup, Jindo and Seoul in Korea. The strains were identified based on the morphology and phylogenetic analyses of large subunit (LSU) and small subunit (SSU) rDNA regions. Results from these analyses revealed that the strains were identified as Alphamyces chaetifer, Betamyces americaemeridionalis, Kappamyceslaurelensis and K. microporosus, Kappamyces sp. nov., and one novel genus and 2 new species. Based on the analyses of LSU rDNA sequences, the main genera consisted of Alphamyces, Betamyces, Kappamyces, including one new genus, and were belonged to two families such as Alphamycetaceae, Kappamycetaceae. Herein, their detailed morphological descriptions and phylogenetic trees are provided. Discovery of such rare fungi is especially important in study of biodiversity and evolution of basal fungi.