The origin of land plants: a matter of mycotrophism

Biosystems. 1975 Mar;6(3):153-64. doi: 10.1016/0303-2647(75)90023-4.


It is hypothesized that terrestrial plants are the product of an ancient and continuing symbiosis of a semi-aquatic ancestral green alga and an aquatic fungus-an oomycete. The Siluro-Devonian "explosive" colonization of land, and indeed the very evolution of plants, was possible only through such mutualistic partnerships-partnerships that were equipped to cope with the problems of desiccation and starvation associated with terrestrial existence.

MeSH terms

  • Biological Evolution*
  • Chlorophyta* / growth & development
  • Chlorophyta* / metabolism
  • Fresh Water
  • Fungi*
  • Oomycetes* / growth & development
  • Oomycetes* / metabolism
  • Photosynthesis
  • Plant Development*
  • Plants*
  • Seawater
  • Soil Microbiology
  • Water Microbiology