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Fungal Biology

Molecular phylogeny and taxonomy of Lagenidium-like oomycetes pathogenic to mammals

Christoffel F.J. Spies, Amy M. Grooters, C. André Lévesque, Tara L. Rintoul, Scott A. Redhead, Sally L. Glockling, Chi-yu Chen, Arthur W.A.M. de Cock

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa Research and Development Centre, Ottawa, K1A 0C6, Ontario, Canada.


Over the past twenty years, infections caused by previously unrecognised oomycete pathogens with morphological and molecular similarities to known Lagenidium species have been observed with increasing frequency, primarily in dogs but also in cats and humans. Three of these pathogens were formally described as Lagenidium giganteumforma caninumLagenidium deciduum, and Paralagenidium karlingii in advance of published phylogenetic verification. Due to the complex nature of Lagenidium taxonomy alongside recent reports of mammalian pathogenic species, these taxa needed to be verified with due consideration of the available data for Lagenidium and its allied genera. This study does so through morphologic characterisation of the mammalian pathogenic species, and phylogenetic analyses. The six-gene phylogeny generally supports the most recent comprehensive classification of Lagenidium with a well-supported Lagenidium clade that includes the mammalian pathogens Lgiganteum f. caninum andLdeciduum, and well-supported clades for which the names Myzocytiopsis and Salilagenidium can be applied. The genus Paralagenidium is phylogenetically unrelated to any of the main clades within the class Peronosporomycetes. Close relationships between pathogens of mammals and those of insects or nematodes were revealed. Further characterisation of Lagenidium-like taxa is needed to establish the risk of mammalian infection by pathogens of insects and nematodes.

Keywords: Chlamydomyzium; Myzocytiopsis; Oomycetes; Paralagenidium; Phylogeny; Salilagenidium.

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