Chytrid Bibliography


The last inclusive monograph of the chytrids was published by F.K. Sparrow in 1960. Attached is a bibliography indexed by taxon name to facilitate searches for taxonomic changes since that time.

Beginning with Sparrow’s 1960 Monograph

Updating his 1943 monograph, F.K. Sparrow, over 60 years ago (1960), published a monograph that covered the Chytridiomycota and other aquatic, zoosporic fungi. This comprehensive work brought together the literature on chytrids (excluding the pathogenic genera Synchytrium and Physoderma) published since the first report by Braun in 1856. In 1960 the zoosporic true fungi were classified in 3 orders (Blastocladiales, Monoblepharidales and Chytridiales) in the Class Phycomycetes, which also included orders of organisms producing motile zoospores with two flagella that we now place in the Straminopila.  The Chytridiomycota now contains 13 orders and many other new  taxa; this bibliography is an attempt to provide an updated list of taxonomic changes since Sparrow’s 1960 monograph.

The Era of Ultrastructure

A new era in the systematics of chytrids began in 1980 when Barr segregated the Order Spizellomycetales, from the Chytridiales on the basis of zoosporic ultrastructure. From the ultrastructural work published in the late 60’s and 70’s Barr concluded that flagellar associated ultrastructure was more conserved and thus more phylogenetically informative than thallus morphology, which had provided the characters for earlier classifications. Barr also suggested that new genera and species should include information on zoosporic ultrastructure.

The Molecular Era

The molecular era of chytrid systematics began in 2000 with the publication by James et al. of a phylogeny of the Chytridiomycota based on analysis of the nuclear small subunit of RNA. They found then and in a subsequent study with more molecular markers (James et al. 2006) that the phylogenetic clades found by analysis of DNA sequences supported groups found by comparison of zoospore ultrastructure. Although well-supported clades were found within the Chytridiales, the order was polyphyletic. Acting on this, researchers have described additional orders. Currently zoospore-producing fungi in the eufungal clade are classified primarily in the Aphelida, Cryptomycota (rozellids), Blastocladiomycota, Neocallimastigomycota, and Chytridiomycota.  Recently (2021), Strassert et al. (Scientific reports 11:396) presented genetic evidence that the insect-infecting Nephridiophaga are within the Chytridiomycota.

Phyla, Classes and Orders of Zoosporic Eufungi

  • Cryptomycota (Rozellomycota),
  • Aphelida
  • Blastocladiomycota
    • Blastocladiomycetes (blastoclades)
      • Blastocladiales
  • Chytridiomycota
    • Monoblepharidomycetes (monoblephs)  considered by some to be in their own phylum, Monoblepharidiomycota
      • Monoblepharidales
    • Chytridiomycetes (chytrids)
      • Chytridiales,
      • Cladochytriales
      • Gromochytriales
      • Lobulomycetales
      • Mesochytriales
      • (nephridiophagids)
      • Polychytriales
      • Polyphagales
      • Rhizophydiales
      • Rhizophlyctidales
      • Spizellomycetales
      • Synchytriales
      • Zygophlyctidales
      • Zygorhizidiales
  • Neocallimastigomycota (neocalls)
    • ‎Neocallimastigomycetes
      • Neocallimastigales



The purpose of this bibliography, which is updated from an article published in Mycotaxon (Volume 60, pp. 149-174; 1996), is to provide a listing of pertinent taxonomic literature since 1960. It includes new taxa, new combinations, and suggested synonymies since Sparrow’s monograph. New species in certain parasitic genera are not included, namely: Coelomomyces and Physoderma (Blastocladiales) and parasitic Synchytrium species (Synchytriales). Because Harpochytrium (Monoblepharidomycetes) was not included in Sparrow’s monograph, I have included references for species described previous to 1960.


Names of new taxa above the level of species are printed entirely in upper case letters. Figures, substrates, and habitats are listed for new species. IF = Index of Fungi and is included when orthographic changes were made. ZH = Zarys Hydromikologii (Batko 1975). HP = Handbook of Protoctista (Margulis et al., eds. 1975). CI = Chytridiomycetarum Iconographia (Karling 1977), MB = MycoBank.