FUNGI AND EARLY TERRESTRIAL LIFE

Rcjohnsen rcjohnsen at aol.com
Sun Oct 22 18:05:46 EST 2000


PALEOBIOLOGY:
FUNGI AND EARLY TERRESTRIAL LIFE
Researchers report the discovery of fossilized fungal hyphae and
spores from the Ordovician era, with an age of approximately 460
million years ago. These fossils strongly resemble modern
arbuscular mycorrhyzal fungi and indicate that Glomales-like
fungi were present at a time when the land flora most likely only
consisted of plants on the bryophytic level. These fungi may thus
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 approximately 600 million years ago.
(Science 15 Sep 00 289:1920)






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