Zygospores as evidence of sexual reproduction in the genus Orphella

Laia G. Valle, Sergi Santamaria

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22 Citations (Scopus)


The presence of zygospores in the genus Orphella is newly described. We found zygospores in three species of the genus, O. catalaunica, O. coronata and O. helicospora, which are all the species of the genus known from the Iberian territory. Zygospores are associated with a heterothallic conjugating sexual process in O. coronata, whereas in O. catalaunica and O. helicospora, they form homothallically. In all instances, zygospores are consistently associated with an organized pattern of sterile cells, forming structures comparable to those present with asexual trichospores. We compare the ontogeny of Orphella zygospores with that found in the harpellid Genistellospora homothallica and discuss the possible close relationship of Orphella with Kickxellales (Zygomycetes). We report O. coronata in Spain for the first time, replacing all previous records of O. haysii. Results are supported with line drawings and photographs. © 2005 by The Mycological Society of America.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1335-1347
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2005


  • Conjugation
  • Harpellales
  • Kickxellales
  • Plecoptera
  • Systematics


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