"conidial" terminology

Peter Herman rpeter at nmsu.edu
Fri Feb 21 17:51:56 EST 1997

RIDLEYG at fri.cri.nz wrote:

[ much cut]
>      So my options are:
>      1. Accept the status quo, ie conidium/ conidiogenous cell/
>      conidiophore / conidioma/ Mitosporic Fungi

>      I would like to hear discussion on this. I do not claim to be an
>      expert here but I often feel that when it comes to language we chuck
>      scientific logic out of the window for supposed historical usage and
>      stability. This results in terminology that has to be rote learned as
>      opposed to being derived eg conidium only means dust but mitospore
>      means a spore produced by mitosis. Thus the language becomes a
>      password by which you enter the secret scientific world rather than as
>      keys to knowledge.
IMHO this is your best choice for a few reasons.  First it is easiest on
readers since they are familiar with the conventions.  I know that this
smacks of a traditionalist's approach - but there is nothing wrong with
traditionalism done for clarity's sake!

Conidia and related terms are useful in that they contrast to
sporangiospore and related terms.  I know that you have to have been
raised on "lower fungi" as I was for this to be a big deal, but there is
a basic difference in mitospore production between conidial and
sporangiosporic fungi.  Granted that Zygomycetes and Chytrids aside, all
the sporangiosporic fungi are evolutionary side issues.  However, this
difference in mitospore production between "lower true fungi" and
ascomycetes may be as great as the difference in meiosporeogenisis
between some zygomycetes and some of the archaeoascomycetes like
Dipodascopsis or Dipodascus.  

Any other points of view?


Peter Herman					Phone:  +1 505-646-4532
Dept. of Biology				fax:	+1 505-646-5665
New Mexico State University			e-mail  rpeter at nmsu.edu
Las Cruces, NM 88003 USA

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