Hellenica World


The evolution of fungi has been going on since fungi diverged from other life around 1,500 million years ago, (Wang et al., 1999)[1] with the glomaleans branching from the "higher fungi" at ~570 million years ago, according to DNA analysis. (Schüßler et al., 2001; Tehler et al., 2000)[1] Fungi probably colonised the land during the Cambrian, over 500 million years ago, (Taylor & Osborn, 1996)[1] but fossils only become uncontroversial and common during the Devonian, 400 million years ago.[1]

Early fungi

A rich diversity of fungi is known from the lower Devonian Rhynie chert, an earlier record is absent. Since fungi do not biomineralise, they do not readily enter the fossil record; there are only three claims of early fungi. One from the Ordovician[2] has been dismissed on the grounds that it lacks any distinctly fungal features, and is held by many to be contamination;[3] the position of a "probable" Proterozoic fungus is still not established,[3] and it may represent a stem group fungus. There is also a case for a fungal affinity for the enigmatic microfossil Ornatifilum. Since the fungi form a sister group to the animals, the two lineages must have diverged before the first animal lineages, which are known from fossils as early as the Ediacaran.[4]

Karl Johanssvamp, Iduns kokbok.png Fungi portal

1. ^ a b c d in Brundrett, M.C. (2002). "Coevolution of roots and mycorrhizas of land plants". New Phytologist 154 (2): 275–304. doi:10.1046/j.1469-8137.2002.00397.x.
2. ^ Redecker, D.; Kodner, R.; Graham, L.E. (2000). "Glomalean Fungi from the Ordovician". Science 289 (5486): 1920. doi:10.1126/science.289.5486.1920. PMID 10988069.
3. ^ a b Butterfield, N.J. (2005). "Probable Proterozoic fungi". Paleobiology 31 (1): 165–182. doi:10.1666/0094-8373(2005)031.
4. ^ Miller, A.J. (2004). "A Revised Morphology of Cloudina with Ecological and Phylogenetic Implications". http://ajm.pioneeringprojects.org/files/CloudinaPaper_Final.pdf. Retrieved 2007-04-24

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