The family Mycotyphaceae was proposed (Benny et al., 1985) for two genera, Mycotypha and Benjaminiella, that previously had been variously placed in the Cunninghamellaceae (Hesseltine, 1955; Benjamin, 1959; Hesseltine and Ellis, 1973), the Thamnidiaceae (Benny, 1973; Benny and Benjamin, 1976; Benjamin, 1979), or the Choanephoraceae (Zycha et al., 1969). This lack of concensus regarding disposition of these genera at the family level was caused primarily by differences of opinion on the relationship of taxa having single-spored sporangiola borne on fertile vesicles.

The mode of sporangiolar release was considered a cardinal feature of Mycotyphaceae as defined by Benny et al. (1985). In all species of the family, the sporangiolar pedicel separates from the subtending vesicle by circumscissile rupture just above the surface which leaves a slightly elevated, truncate, conical denticle. The denticles are dimorphic, i.e., alternately short and long, in species of Mycotypha, The short sporangiolar pedicel remains attached to the sporangiole of Mycotypha (Benny et al., 1985; Edelmann and Klomparens, 1995).

A data set consisting of six taxa from the Mortierellales 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 Mycotypha clade (Mycotyphaceae) had 97% 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 by neighbor-joining (100% BP) and strict concensus (100% BP) for the Mycotyphaceae.

Cannon and Kirk 2007) list two genera (Benjaminiella, Mycotypha) in the Mycotyphaceae. Kirk et al. (2008) and the Ecyclopedia of Life ( ; 6 November 2009) list only Mycoptypha in the family. The Mycotyphaceae are being confined to a single genus, Mycotypha. Mycotyphaceae have been isolated from air, dung, soil, and plant material (Fenner, 1932; Cherry, 1934; Wood, 1954; Novak and Backus, 1963; Benny and Benjamin, 1976; Benny et al., 1985; Delgado Ávilia et al., 2007).

There were several studies on dimorphism in Mycotypha (Price et al., 1973; Hall and Kolankaya, 1974; Schultz et al., 1974). The morphology of Mycotypha as been examined using both light and electron microscopy (Young, 1969; Edelmann and Klomparens, 1995). Mycotypha might be useful in industry because of the production of inhibitors of cell adesion molecules (Takamatsu et al., 2002) and an endopectinase from coffee pulp (Venugopal et al., 2007). There are no reports of a Mycotypha causing mucormycosis but M. microspora has been isolated from a wound and from a stool sample of a child with leukemia (Lacroix et al., 2007).

Mycotyphaceae Benny & R. K. Benjamin, 1985 (In Benny, Kirk, and Samson, Mycotaxon 22: 122)(Benny et al., 1985 — KEY TO SPECIES AND ILLUS.).

Saprobic. Sporophores simple or branched, arising directly from the substrate hyphae, which may also give rise to yeast-like cells, producing terminal cylindrical vesicles bearing pedicellate unispored sporangiola. Sporangiola dimorphic, separating from the subtending vesicle by a circumscissile rupture of the pedicel near the base. Pedicels short, straight, upon dehiscence leaving dimorphic, truncate, barely elevated denticles on the surface of vesicle. Sporangiospores globoid, cylindrical, or obovoid. Suspensors opposed, nearly equal, without appendages. Zygospores with a dark, roughened zygosporangial wall. Homothallic or presumably heterothallic.

Type and only genus: Mycotypha

Synopsis of Genera

MYCOTYPHA Fenner, 1932 (Mycologia 24:196); 3 spp. (Fenner, 1932; Novak and Backus, 1963; Benny and Benjamin, 1976-ILLUS.; Benny et al., 1985 — monograph, key and ILLUS.; Edelmann and Klomparens, 1995—illus.).

Genera Not Accepted Here but Included in Mycotyphaceae by Some Authors

[Benjaminiella v. Arx, see Synopsis Genera of Uncertain Affinities (Mucorales)].


Benjamin, R.K. 1959. The merosporangiferous Mucorales. Aliso 4: 321-433.

Benjamin, R.K. 1979. Zygomycetes and their spores, pp. 573-616. In: B. Kendrick (Ed.). The whole fungus: the sexual-asexual synthesis. Vol. 2. National Museums of Canada, Ottawa, Canada.

Benny, G. L. 1973. A Taxonomic Revision of the Thamnidiaceae (Mucorales). Dissertation, Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, California. 252 p.

Benny, G.L., and R.K. Benjamin. 1976. Observations on Thamnidiaceae (Mucorales). II. Chaetocladium, Cokeromyces, Mycotypha, and Phascolomyces. Aliso 8:391-424.

Benny, G.L., P. M. Kirk, and R. A. Samson. 1985. Observations on Thamnidiaceae (Mucorales). III. Mycotyphaceae fam. nov. and a re-evaluation of Mycotypha sensu Benny & Benjamin illustrated by two new species. Mycotaxon 22:119-148.

Cannon, P.F., and P.M. Kirk. 2007. Fungal families of the World. Wallingford, United Kingdom, CAB International. 456 p.

Cherry, W.F. 1934. Mycotypha microspora isolated from Chaenomeles legenaria. Mycologia 26:133-134.

Delgado Ávilia, A.E., L.M. Urdaneta, and A.J. Piñeiro Chávez. 2007. Mycotypha indica P.M. Kirk & Benny, in turkey dung, a new record for Venezuela. Multiciencias 7:176-180.

Edelmann, R.E., and K.L. Klomparens. 1995. Low temperature scanning electron microscopy of the ultrastructural development of zygospores and sporangiospores in Mycotypha africana, and the effects of cultural conditions on sexual verses asexual reproduction. Mycologial Research 99:539-548.

Fenner, E.A. 1932. Mycotypha microspora, a new genus of the Mucoraceae. Mycologia 24:187-198.

Hall, M.J., and N. Kolankaya. 1974. Physiology of mould-yeast dimorphism in the genus Mycotypha (Mucorales). Journal of General Microbiology 82:25-34.

Hesseltine, C.W. 1955. Genera of Mucorales with notes on their synonymy. Mycologia 47:344-363.

Hesseltine, C.W., and J.J. Ellis. 1973. Mucorales, pp. 187-217, In G. C. Ainsworth, F. K. Sparrow, and A. S. Sussman (Eds.). The Fungi. Vol. 4b. Academic Press, New York. 504 p

Kirk, P.M., P.F. Cannon, D.W. Minter, and J.A. Stalpers. 2008. Ainsworth & Bisby’s Dictionary of the Fungi. 10th Ed. Wallingford, United Kingdom, CAB International. 771 p.

Lacroix, C., T. Leblanc, and M. F. de Chauvin. 2007. Isolation of Mycotypha microspora from stool samples of a leukemic child. Journal de Mycologie Médicale 17:188-190.

Novak, R.O., and M.P. Backus. 1963. A new species of Mycotypha with a zygosporic stage. Mycologia 55:790-798.

O’Donnell, K., F.M. Lutzoni, T.J. Ward, and G.L. Benny. 2001. Evolutionary relationships among mucoralean fungi (Zygomycota): Evidence for family polyphyly on a large scale. Mycologia 93:286-296.

Price, J.S., R. Storck, and F.H. Gleason. 1973. Dimorphism of Cokeromyces poitrasii and Mycotypha microspora. Mycologia 65:1274-1283.

Schulz, B.E., G. Kraepelin, and W. Hinkelmann. 1974. Factors affecting dimorphism in Mycotypha (Mucorales): a correlation with the fermentation/respiration equillibrium. Journal of General Microbiology 82:1-13.

Takamatsu, S., Q. Zhang, K.K. Schrader, H.N. El Sohly, and L.A. Walker. 2002. Characterization of Mycotypha metabolites found to be inhibitors of cell adhesion molecules. The Journal of Antibiotics 55:585-592.

Venugopal, C., T. Jayachandra, and K.A. Anu Appaiah. 2007. Effect of aeriation on the production of endo-pectinase from coffee pulp by a novel thermophilic fungi Mycotypha sp. strain No. AKM 1801. Biotechnology 6:245-250.

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 Biol. Hun. 59:365-383.

Wood, J.L. 1954. Mycotypha microspora from Maryland. Mycologia 46:306.

Young, T.W.K. 1969. Electron and phase-contrast microscopy of spores in two species of the genus Mycotypha (Mucorales). Journal of General Microbiology 55:243-249.

Zycha, H., R. Siepmann, and G. Linnemann. 1969. Mucorales eine Beschreibung aller Gattungen und Arten dieser Pilzgruppe. Lehre, J. Cramer. 355 p.

Updated Jun 03, 2010