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, 289 (5486), 1920-1

Glomalean Fungi From the Ordovician


Glomalean Fungi From the Ordovician

D Redecker et al. Science.


Fossilized fungal hyphae and spores from the Ordovician of Wisconsin (with an age of about 460 million years) strongly resemble modern arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (Glomales, Zygomycetes). These fossils indicate that Glomales-like fungi were present at a time when the land flora most likely only consisted of plants on the bryophytic level. Thus, these fungi may have played a crucial role in facilitating the colonization of land by plants, and the fossils support molecular estimates of fungal phylogeny that place the origin of the major groups of terrestrial fungi (Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, and Glomales) around 600 million years ago.

Comment in

  • Evolution. Terrestrial Life--Fungal From the Start?
    M Blackwell. Science 289 (5486), 1884-5. PMID 11012361.
    Fungi have been implicated in the early colonization of land by plants. As Blackwell explains in her Perspective, Redecker et al.'s discovery of a fossil fungus provides …

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