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Chaetocladium (Benny and Benjamin,1976) produces unispored sporangia with separable spore and sporangial walls. The sporangia have a discoid columella and they are borne on a pedicel that arises from a vesicle that can be more or less sessile or even stipitate. The fertile hyphae are formed in pairs or three branches arise from the same point. The branches often terminate in a sterile spine. Zygospores have opposed suspensors that are either more or less equal or heterogamous. Both species are facultative parasites of other Mucorales.

Type species: C. jonesii

Species of Chaetocladium:

C. brefeldii van Tieghem & Le Monnier, 1873 (Ann. Sci. Nat, Bot., Sér. V, 17:342).

C. jonesii (Berkeley & Broome) Fresenius, 1863 (_Beiträge zur Mykologie_, p. 98).

In nature these fungi are facultative, gall-forming parasites of other Mucorales. Chaetocladium spp. grow well on many culture media in the laboratory. Chaetocladium brefeldii, and presumably C. jonesii, can be found in the winter parasitizing other Mucorales in warmer regions of the United States. Chaetocladium has been studied by Hesseltine and Anderson (1957), and Benny and Benjamin (1976). I never observed zygospores during my study of Chaetocladium jonesii but they were illustrated by Brefeld (1881—as Chaetocladium fresenianum). Burgeff (1920) studied parasitism and gall formation in Chaetocladium. The genus has been reported from India (Singh, 1968) and Japan (Mikawa, 1979).

Both species grow best below 20 C; the zygospores are produced below 20 C. Mil’ko and Beljakova, 1967, 1971), and Mil’ko (1974) treated Thamnocephalis (Sigmoideomycetaceae, Zoopagales) as a synonym of Chaetocladium. Mil’ko (1974) included Chaetocladium in the Cunninghamellaceae. ( 2005)


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© Gerald L. Benny

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