GILBERTELLA Hesseltine, 1960 (Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 87:24); 1 sp. (Benny, 1991—monograph).

Sporangia, with persistent walls and a longitudinal suture, are formed on the apex of the sporangiophore by Gilbertella persicaria. The two halves of the sporangial wall separate along the suture when mature to expose a droplet of fluid containing ellipsoid, smooth-walled, hyaline sporangiospores bearing long, slender appendages on the ends of each spore. The zygosporangial wall is light brown, ornamented and translucent, and the suspensors are opposed and more or less equal. Gilbertella persicaria is heterothallic (zygospores are produced on the substrate at the zone where the hyphae from the + and – colonies meet).

Type species: G. persicaria

Species of Gilbertella:
G. persicaria (Eddy) Hesseltine, 1960 (Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 87:24).

Gilbertella was described by Hesseltine (1960), and later monographed by Benny (1991). Only the type variety was accepted (Benny, 1991) in the genus, G. persicaria var. persicaria, although another variety has been described (Mehrotra and Mehrotra, 1963). Zygosporogenesis was described in G. persicaria (O’Donnell et al., 1977). Gilbertella has been illustrated by O’Donnell and Benny (1978). Fruit rots caused by G. persicaria have been described on peach, pear, and tomato (Mehrotra, 1963a, 1963b, 1966).


Benny, G.L. 1991. Gilbertellaceae, a new family of the Mucorales (Zygomycetes). Mycologia 83:150-157.

Hesseltine, C.W. 1960. Gilbertella gen. nov. (Mucorales). Bull. Torrey Bot. Club. 87:21-30.

Mehrotra, B.S. and M.D. Mehrotra. 1963. A morphological and physiological study of Gilbertella in India. Mycologia 55:582-594.

Mehrotra, M.D. 1963a [1964]. Fruit rot of pear caused by Gilbertella persicaria var. indica. Sydowia 17:124-125.

Mehrotra, M.D. 1963b [1964]. Fruit rot of tomato caused by Gilbertella persicaria. Sydowia 17:17-19.

Mehrotra, M.D. 1966. Fruit rot of peach by Gilbertella persicaria var. indica from India. Mycopath. Mycol. Appl. 29:151-154.

O’Donnell, K.L., and G.L. Benny. 1978. Gilbertella persicaria, pp. 123-124. In: M.S. Fuller (Ed.). Lower fungi in the laboratory. Palfrey Contributions in Botany. No. 1. Department of Botany, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.

O’Donnell, K.L., J.J. Ellis, C.W. Hesseltine, and G.R. Hooper. 1977. Zygosporogensis in Gilbertella persicaria. Can. J. Bot. 55:662-675.

Updated Oct 22, 2006