Agriosomyces was identified in 2020 as a part of a collaborative isolation effort that targeted a wide range of wild and zoo-kept herbivores (Hanafy et al, 2020). Like several other genera that have been described to date, Agriosomyces has a monocentric sporangium, filamentous rhizomycelium and monoflagellated zoospores.
The genus name, Agriosomyces, is derived from the Greek word for wild: agrios. This is because Agriosomyces was isolated from a wild Mouflon sheep and a wild Boer goat. The type species is A. longus. The species name refers to the extremely long flagellum of the zoospores produced by A. longus, which are approx. 5 to 6 times longer than the zoospore body. The type strain for the genus is MS2. To date, no other species have been described for this genus.
A recent culture-independent survey suggested that Agriosomyces exhibits a limited ecological distribution, and normally represents only a minor part of the host’s total anaerobic fungal community (Hanafy et al, 2020). Due to this, and its common gross morphological characteristics with several other genera, it is perhaps not surprising that isolates of Agriosomyces were only found relatively recently as part of a large collaborative study.
Within the family Neocallimastigaceae, Agriosomyces is phylogenetically most closely related to Khyollomyces (when using LSU as a taxonomic marker).
Images are shown above of Agriosomyces longus strain MS2. In liquid medium, Agriosomyces produces a thin biofilm-like growth (Image 1). When grown using agar roll tubes, Agriosomyces forms small, light brown circular colonies (Image 2).
Microscopically, Agriosomyces produces mainly monoflagellated zoospores (Image 3), although bi-flagellated zoospores are occasionally produced (Image 4). Agriosomyces has monocentric thalli with filamentous anucleate rhizoidal systems (Image 5).
Both endogenous and exogenous sporangia are produced by Agriosomyces, and these are mainly globose (Image 6). Sporangiophores display sub-sporangial swelling, and the sporangial necks are tightly constricted with a narrow neck port (Image 7, arrow).
No sequenced genome or transcriptomes are currently available for Agriosomyces.
For the Agriosomyces longus strain MS2 that is pictured above, the LSU sequence is available in the NCBI database (accession number MK881996).