Phylogenetics and evolution of nematode-trapping fungi (Orbiliales) estimated from nuclear and protein coding genes

Yan Li, Kevin D. Hyde, Rajesh Jeewon, Lei Cai, Dhanasekaran Vijaykrishna, Keqin Zhang

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110 Citations (Scopus)


The systematic classification of nematodetrapping fungi is redefined based on phylogenies inferred from sequence analyses of 28S rDNA, 5.8S rDNA and β-tubulin genes. Molecular data were analyzed with maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian analysis. An emended generic concept of nematode-trapping fungi is provided. Arthrobotrys is characterized by adhesive networks, Dactylellina by adhesive knobs, and Drechslerella by constricting-rings. Phylogenetic placement of taxa characterized by stalked adhesive knobs and nonconstricting rings also is confirmed in Dactylellina. Species that produce unstalked adhesive knobs that grow out to form loops are transferred from Gamsylella to Dactylellina, and those that produce unstalked adhesive knobs that grow out to form networks are transferred from Gamsylella to Arthrobotrys. Gamsylella as currently circumscribed cannot be treated as a valid genus. A hypothesis for the evolution of trapping-devices is presented based on multiple gene data and morphological studies. Predatory and nonpredatory fungi appear to have been derived from nonpredatory members of Orbilia. The adhesive knob is considered to be the ancestral type of trapping device from which constricting rings and networks were derived via two pathways. In the first pathway adhesive knobs retained their adhesive material forming simple two-dimension networks, eventually forming complex three-dimension networks. In the second pathway adhesive knobs lost their adhesive materials, with their ends meeting to form nonconstricting rings and they in turn formed constricting rings with three inflated-cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1034-1046
Number of pages13
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • β-tubulin
  • Evolution
  • Fungi
  • Phylogeny
  • Predatory
  • rDNA
  • Systematics

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