Many species of zoosporic heterotrophic parasites, saprotrophs and mutualists in the Phyla Perkinsozoa (dinoflagellates), Oomycota, Hyphochytriomycota, Labyrinthulomycota and Phyomyxea share morphological characteristics with zoosporic true fungi especially with some of the Chytridiomycota and with fungus-like organisms in the Phyla Mesomycetozoea, Chytridiomycota and Aphelidae. These characteristics include chemotactic motile zoospores, zoosporangia which produce zoospores, thick walled resistant cysts, rhizoid-like structures, hyphal-like structures and cell walls surrounding the cells in several phases of their life cycle. These assemblages also inhabit both marine and freshwater ecosystems in which aquatic fungi and fungus-like organisms are found, have similar life cycles, grow on similar substrates, use similar infection strategies and infect some of the same host plants and animals. Many of these species were once included in the aquatic phycomycetes, an ecological assemblage of microorganisms but not a valid taxonomic group. Some of the shared characteristics are discussed in this review.
- Cell wall chemistry
- Zoospore ultrastructure