Impact of Harpellales (Kickxellomycotina, Zygomycota) on Chironomidae larvae(Diptera, Insecta) in alpine streams


Abstract: Harpellales are placed within the Kickxellomycotina, Zygomycota. Like some otherorders within the Zygomycota (e. g., Entomophthorales, Zoopagales, Asellariales), Harpellalesstrongly interact with animal hosts, but it is not yet fully understood whether or not an infestationwith these fungi is beneficial or disadvantageous for their host. Literature holds evidence that thenature of symbiosis with Harpellales depends on variables like specific host-fungus affiliations,the physiological status of the host, and its developmental stage.This study is focused on the impact of Harpellales on Chironomidae (Diptera, Insecta) inalpine streams, and particularly aims at evaluating potential benefits or disadvantages of thissymbiosis in alpine streams, which represent harsh and hostile habitats.

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