evolution of fungi

Tue May 17 08:22:39 EST 1994

      Let me begin by stating that I am not a mycologist but rather
      a botanist with an interest in the higher fungi.  Fungal protists
      are OK but the fungi, in my opinion, are as alien as the insects
      and as such, from the human standpoint, are unique life forms.

      My questions which are most probably elementary, are nevertheless,
      to me - each a mystery.  They  concern the evolutionary history of
      these chitinous critters.

      Most terrestrial organisms have a fairly well established link to
      the aquatic.  What about fungi?  As terrestrial organisms with
      non motile gametes most are decomposers, yes?  Do fungi occupy the
      same niche in marine ecosystems? If not what does?  Do we have any
      fungal aquatic ancestors?  Also ...

      I know an astounding number have formed micorrhizal associations
      with higher and lower plants not to mention their role in lichens.
      What is it in their constitution that makes fungi so compatible
      with other organisms?  This is probably an unanswerable question
      but go ahead and speculate (nobody reads this).
      Anyone care to reply? 

      Thanks in advance,

Dave Haas  dhaas at hugo.fsufay.edu           ()
Department of Natural Sciences            (())
Fayetteville State University            ((()))
Fayetteville NC, 28301    USA           (((())))

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