Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/25/2006
Publication Date: 7/24/2007
Citation: Dugan, F.M. 2007. Hyphomycetes. In: McGraw-Hill Book Company editor. McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology, 10th edition. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. p. 780-782.
Interpretive Summary: Hyphomycetes are fungi which reproduce asexually and whose spores are not encased inside fruiting bodies. These fungi were formerly treated as a distinct class in traditional taxonomy, but it is now recognized that the group is composed of many species that are not related by evolution, so sometimes mycologists use the term 'form class Hyphomycetes' or just use lower case, 'hyphomycetes', when designating these organisms. Some are related to ascomycetes, a category of fungi including morel mushrooms and baker's yeast, whereas others are related to basidiomycetes, a category including the common grocery store mushroom and cereal rusts. They are identified by morphology or with molecular methods. Hyphomycetes are important in plant pathology, product deterioration and occasionally as pathogens of humans or animals. But they are also beneficial as agents of nutrient recycling, and they have uses in biotechnology, especially as producers of antibiotics and enzymes.
Technical Abstract: Hyphomycetes are anamorphic forms of ascomycetes or basidiomycetes. In many instances, teleomorphs appear to have been lost over evolutionary time. They are identified on the basis of conidial shape and color, number and position of conidial septa, degree of aggregation of conidiophores, and mode of conidiogenesis. Increasingly, RAPDS, AFLPs, SSRs, metabolite profiles and other molecular methods are used to identify hyphomycetes or clarify their phylogenetic relationships. They are extremely important in plant pathogenesis, and occasionally so in causing human or animal diseases. Many mycotoxigenic fungi are hyphomycetes, and many are agents of product deterioration. However, they are indispensable in biotechnology for production of antibiotics and enzymes, and are increasingly important as biological control agents against weeds, arthropod pests, nematodes or other fungi. Several important references for identification of hyphomycetes are listed.