Von Arx (1982) created the Absidiaceae for taxa producing apophysate sporangia and usually forming stolons and rhizoids. Absidiaceae would have contained Absidia, Chlamydoabsidia, Circinella, Gongronella, Halteromyces, Mycocladus, Rhizopodopsis, Rhizopus and Thermomucor, and the four genera, Dicranophora, Spinellus, Sporodiniella and Syzygites, in the Dicranophoraceae Mirza (Mirza et al., 1979). Absidiaceae is treated as a synonym of Mucoraceae Dumort. by Kirk et al. (2001, 2008).

A data set consisting of six taxa from the Mortierellales Cav.-Sm. and 75 spp. containing at least one species all of the genera in culture of the Mucorales (tef-1a, 18S rDNA, 28S rDNA, morphology) of O’Donnell et al. (2001) showed that the Absidiaceae clade had 75% bootstrap support (BP). Voigt and Olsson (2008) analyzed a data set (act, tef-1a, 18S rRNA, 28S rRNA) containing selected species of 50 genera of the Mucorales Schröter by neighbor-joining (< 50% BP) and strict concensus (82% BP) for the Absidiaceae

The Absidiaceae, as defined here, includes Absidia s.s. (mesophilic taxa with appendaged suspensors—Hoffmann et al. 2007), Chlamydoabsidia (Hesseltine and Ellis, 1966), and Halteromyces (Shipton and Schipper, 1975). Absidiaceae is not recognized by Cannon and Kirk (2007) or Kirk et al. (2008). In the Encyclopedia of Life (http://www.eol.org/pages/5560/; 6 November 2009) Absidia is included in the Mucoraceae and Chlamydoabsidia and Halteromyces are considered members of the Cunninghamellaceae Naumov ex R.K. Benj. These fungi can be isolated from air, and dung, soil, and other organic materials.

Species of Absidia s.s. are used in biotransformation (Chang et al., 2008) and in the production of chitosan (Niederhofer and Müller, 2004; Nwe et al., 2008). Chlamydoabsidia and Halteromyces currently are not known to have any economic value. Chlamydoabsidia padenii was transferred to Absidia by Mil’ko (1968).


Absidiaceae v. Arx, 1984 [1982] (Sydowia 35: 21).
Mycelium well developed, stolons and rhizoids often produced. Sporophores or their branches uniseptate, terminated by columellate, often deliquescent-walled, apophysate, multispored, sphaerical, obovate, clavate, or dumbbell-shaped sporangia. Columellae often conical. Suspensors opposed, more or less equal, one or both forming appendages. Mesophilic

Type genus: Absidia s.s.

Key to the Genera of Absidiaceae

A. Sporangia dumbbell-shaped or of some other morphology, usually not obpiriform —— Halteromyces
AA. Sporangia obpiriform——B

B. Conspicuous relatively large, more or less fusiform chlamydospores formed in the aerial hyphae —— Chamydoabsidia
BB. These chlamydospores not produced in the aerial hyphae —— Absidia s.s.

Synopsis of Genera

ABSIDIA van Tieghem, 1878, subgen Absidia (Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot., Sér. 6, 4: 350) emend. K. Hoffmann, Discher and K. Voigt, Mycol. Res. 111:1174-1177, 2007; 18 + spp. (Ellis and Hesseltine, 1965 -illus. and KEY TO SPP.; Hesseltine and Ellis, 1961 – illus.; 1964 -illus. and KEY TO SPP., 1966 – illus. and KEY TO SPP.; Vánová, 1968 – illus. and key to spp., 1969, 1971 – illus., 1983 -ILLUS. and KEY TO SPP.; Mil’ko, 1970 – illus. and key to spp.; Schipper, 1990 – key; Hesseltine et al., 1990 – key). Absidia s.s. contains only the mesophilic species of Absidia s.l.; excluded from Absidia s.l. are the taxa transferred to the thermotolerent Lichtheimia, the mycoparasitc Lentamyces and Mycocladus (Beauverie, 1900; Hoffmann et al., 2009; Hoffmann and Voigt, 2009).
= Tieghemiella Berl. & de Toni, 1888 (In Saccardo, Syll. Fung. 7: 215).
= Proabsidia Vuillemin, 1903 (Bull. Soc. Mycol. France 19: 116).
= Pseudoabsidia Saccardo, 1905 (Syll. Fung. 17: 504; fide Kirk, 1985)
= Protoabsidia Naumov, 1935 [Opredelitel’ Mukorovykh (Mucorales), Ed. 2, pp. 23 and 78; nomen nudum, without a Latin diagnosis, Art. 36.1 of the ICBN, McNeill et al., 2006].

CHLAMYDOABSIDIA Hesseltine & Ellis, 1966 (Mycologia 58: 761); 1 spp (Hesseltine and Ellis, 1966 -Illus.; Behera and Mukerji, 1974 – illus.) [transferred to Absidia by Milko, 1968].

HALTEROMYCES Shipton & Schipper, 1975 (Antonie van Leeuwenhoek Ned. Tijdschr. Hyg. 41: 337); 1 sp. (Shipton and Schipper, 1975 – illus.).

Genera Not Accepted Here but Included in the Absidiaceae by Some Authors

[Circinella — see Synopsis of Genera of Unknown Affinities (Mucorales)].

[Dicranophora — Dicranophoraceae (Mucorales)].

[Gongronella — see Synopsis of Genera of Unknown Affinities (Mucorales)].

[Rhizopodopsis — see Synopsis of Genera of Unknown Affinities (Mucorales)].

[Rhizopus — see Synopsis of Genera of Unknown Affinities (Mucorales)].

[Spinellus — see Phycomycetaceae (Mucorales)].

[Sporodinella — see Synopsis of Genera of Unknown Affinities (Mucorales)].

[Syzygites — see Synopsis of Genera of Unknown Affinities (Mucorales)].

[Thermomucor — see Synopsis of Genera of Unknown Affinities (Mucorales)].


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Chang, S.-F., L.-M. Yang, C.-H. Lo, J.H. Liaw, L.-H. Wang, and S.-J. Lin. 2008. Microbial transformation of isosteviol and bioactivities against glucocorticoid/androgen response elements. Journal of Natural Products 71:87-92.

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Mil’ko, A.A. 1968. De specie nova e genere Circinella van Tieghem et Le Monnier. Novitates Systematicae Plantarum non Vascularium 6:96-102.

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Mirza, J. H., S. M. Khan, S. Begum, and S. Shagufta. 1979. Mucorales of Pakistan. University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan. 183 p.

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Nwe, N., W.F. Stevens, D. Montet, S. Tokumura, and H. Tamura. 2008. Decomposition of myceliar matrix and extraction of chitosan from Grongornella butleri USDB 0201 and Absidia coeruleareak [sic] ATCC 14076. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules. 43:2-7

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Schipper, M.A.A. 1990. Notes on Mucorales—I Observations on Absidia. Persoonia 14: 133-149.

Shipton, W.A., and M. A. A. Schipper. 1975. Halteromyces, a new genus in the Mucorales. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek Ned. Tijdschr. Hyg. 41: 337-342.

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Voigt, K. and I. Olsson. 2008. Molecular phylogenetic and scanning electron microscopical analysis places the Choanephoraceae and the Gilbertellaceae in a monophyletic group within the Mucorales (Zygomycetes, Fungi). Acta Biologica Hungarica 59: 365-383.

Von Arx, J.A. 1982 [1984]. On Mucoraceae s. str. and other families of the Mucorales. Sydowia 35: 10-26.

Updated Jun 02, 2010