plural noun
Chy·​trid·​i·​a·​ce·​ae | \ kī‧ˌtridēˈāsēˌē, kə̇‧-\

Definition of Chytridiaceae

: a family of aquatic fungi (order Chytridiales) having a monocentric thallus

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History and Etymology for Chytridiaceae

borrowed from New Latin, from Chytridium, the type genus (borrowed from Greek chytrídion “small pot, cup,” diminutive of chýtra “earthenware pot” - alluding to the pot-like sporangium) + -aceae -aceae

Note: The genus name Chytridium was introduced by the German botanist Alexander Braun (1805-77) in Betrachtungen über die Erscheinung der Verjüngung in der Natur, insbesondere in der Lebens- und Bildungsgeschichte der Pflanze (Leipzig, 1851), p. 198: “Die Chytridien bilden eine neue Gattung einzelliger, schmarotzerischer Algen oder, wenn man lieber will, im Wasser lebender Pilze, die sich zu Saprolegnia ungefähr verhält, wie Ascidium zu Bryopsis. Die ganze Pflanze besteht in einer einzigen bauchigen Zelle, welche mit einer mehr oder weniger entwickelten wurzelartigen Basis in die fremde Alge, auf der sie wächst, eindringt. Der bauchige Theil der Zelle ist mit farblosem Schleime gefüllt, aus welchem sich nicht durch successive Theilung, sondern durch einen simultanen Prozess sehr zahlreiche kleine, kugelige Keimzellen bilden, welche einen scharfumschriebenen dunkleren Kern im Inneren zeigen, und einen einzigen, sehr langen Flimmerfaden besitzen.” (“The Chytridia form a new genus of one-celled, parasitic algae or, if you will, aquatic fungi, that relate to Saprolegnia in about the same way as Ascidium to Bryopsis. The entire plant consists of a single bulbous cell that penetrates into the foreign alga on which it grows with a more or less developed root-like base. The bulbous part of the cell is filled with colorless mucilage, out of which small, very numerous spherical gametes are formed, not through successive division, but rather by an instaneous process; these gametes reveal a sharply circumscribed dark nucleus and have a single very long flagellum.”) A group Chytrideae that included Chytridium, of uncertain taxonomic status, was proposed by Heinrich Anton de Bary (“Bericht über die Fortschritte der Algenkunde in den Jahren 1855, 1856 und 1857,” Botanische Zeitung, 16. Jahrgang [1858], Beilage, p. 96); later de Bary and M. Woronin referred to this group as “eine kleine Familie” (“Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Chytridien,” Berichte über die Verhandlungen der naturforschenden Gesellschaft zu Freiburg i.B., Band 3, Heft 2 [1864], p. 46). Chytrideaceae is found without reference to earlier literature in a taxonomy by Ferdinand Cohn (“Conspectus familiarum cryptogamarum secundum methodem naturalem dispositarum,” Hedwigia, 11. Band, Nr. 2 (1872), p. 18). A more comprehensive account of the family was given by Leon Nowakowski (“Beitrag zur Kenntniss der Chytridiaceen,” Beiträge zur Biologie der Pflanzen, 2. Band, 1. Heft (1876), pp. 73-100); Nowakowski used the Latin form Chytridiaceae in a Polish version of the paper, “Pryczynek do morfologii i systematiki Skoczków (Chytridiaceae),” Pamiętnik Akademii Umiejętności w Krakowie, Wydział Matematyczno-Przyrodniczy, tom 4 (1878), pp. 174-98.

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