Similarities and Difference Between Oomycetes and True Fungi
Oomycetes, commonly called as water molds, are a group of fungi with distinct phylogenetic importance. Apart from its phylogenetic importance, Oomycetes are disreputable for their plant pathogenic properties. This group includes the notorious plant pathogen, Phytopthora, which cause late blight of potato, the major culprit in Irish Famine. Even though Oomycetes are traditionally included in the Kingdom Fungi, the current developments in the phylogenetic studies showed that Oomycetes are rather a controversial group which shows more phylogenetic lineage with photosynthetic organisms such as diatoms and brown algae. Morphologically Oomycetes are more allied to the Kingdom Fungi, however, in their phylogeny and physiological features they shows considerable difference from true fungi. Recent molecular studies using DNA sequencing confirmed that Oomycetes are closely related to algae than true fungi and with this modern evidence, the Oomycetes should be regarded as “colorless” algae rather than true Fungi. In this post we will discuss the similarities and differences of Oomycetes from true fungi which will help you to understand the phylogenetic importance of this group.
Similarities between Oomycetes and true Fungi
Ø Oomycetes and true fungi are eukaryotes
Ø Both Oomycetes and true fungi, the vegetative plant body composed of mycelium formed by organized hyphal networks.
Ø Both Oomycetes and true fungi have heterotrophic mode of nutrition.
Ø Both groups obtain nutrients by absorption
Ø Both groups are devoid of chlorophyll pigments and hence they cannot do photosynthesis.
Ø Both groups include parasitic members
Ø In both groups, cell possess cell wall (the chemical nature of cell wall varies)
Ø Both groups includes flagellated structures (flagellated structures are absent in the higher groups of true fungi)
Ø Both groups undergo sexual reproduction
Ø Both groups produce spores as a mode of reproduction
Difference between Oomycetes and True Fungi
1. Neighboring taxonomic group: Based on the phylogenetic analysis with 18S rRNA, oomycetes are more related to Heterokontae which contain diatoms and golden-brown algae
2. Hyphal architecture: Aseptate and coenocytic tubular hyphae