Holocarpic oomycetes convert their entire cytoplasm into zoospores and thus do not form dedicated sporangia or hyphal compartments for asexual reproduction. The majority of holocarpic oomycetes are obligate parasites and parasitoids of a diverse suite of organisms, among them green and red algae, brown seaweeds, diatoms, fungi, oomycetes and invertebrates. Most of them are found among the early diverging oomycetes or the Peronosporomycetes, and some in the early-diverging Saprolegniomycetes (Leptomitales). The obligate parasitism renders it difficult to study some of these organisms. Only a few members of the genus Haliphthoros s. l. have been cultured without their hosts, and of the parasitoid Leptomitales, some transient cultures have been established, which are difficult to maintain. Here, the cultivation of a new holocarpic oomycete genus of the Leptomitales, Bolbea, is presented. Bolbea is parasitic to ostracods, is readily cultivable on malt extract agar, and upon contact with water converts its cytoplasm into zoospores. Its morphology and phylogenetic relationships are reported. Due to the ease of cultivation and the ready triggering of zoospore development, similar to some lagenidiaceous oomycetes, the species could be a promising model to study sporulation processes in detail.
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Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Department of Biological Sciences, Institute of Ecology, Evolution and Diversity, Max-von-Laue-Str. 13, D-60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung, Senckenberganlage 25, D-60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
LOEWE Centre for Translational Biodiversity Genomics, Georg-Voigt-Str. 14-16, D-60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Appeared or available online: April 16, 2020