Peter Herman rpeter at
Thu Oct 10 15:26:55 EST 1996

Peter Herman <rpeter at> wrote:
>ISAAC FORQUER <s001ipf at> wrote:
>Dear Fungi lovers,
>	I have two independent questions:
>1.)I have been confused lately on the large scale classification
>of the lower fungi (myxo, mastigo and amastigo).  Are they >protists?
>2.)  Has anyone ever trapped water molds from bromeliad tanks in
>the rain forest, if so, please get back to me!!!

Question 1 opens a can of worms the proper re-canning of which is 
finally pretty well (but not completely) agreed on.  The 
myxomycota are generally thought of as polyphyletic and 
definately protists rather than "real" fungi.  The mastigomycota 
contain several phylogenies.  The Oomycetes 
(diplomastigomycotina) are clearly allied to the Chrysophytes in 
the protists.  You run ito real diversity in what was once the 
Haplomastigomycotina. The Hyphochytrids are not not on the line 
to real fungi and are also protistian.  The Plasmodiophoromycetes 
are also protists, again unrelated.  The Chytrids are clearly on 
the line to the real fungi.  Perhaps the most popular scenario 
has one of the chytrids which reproduce by somatogamy leading to 
a form resembling something that would be in the current 
Endogoales of the Zygomycetes leading to one of the 
archaeascomycetes looking like Dipodascus or Dipodascopsis.  All 
of the things in the true fungi (except Chytrids) are in what was 
the Amstigomycota.

The other can of worms this raises is what to do about teaching 
these groups.  Most of us still include them in Mycology courses 
because 1) many of them function like fungi 2) for historical 
reasons, and 3) because those of us who have worked with members 
of the groups hate to see them orphened :-)
On question #2, I see no reason why you should not be able to 
"bait" oomycetes out of bromiliad tanks like you do out of any 
other standing water, if they are there.

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