Fossils Give Possible Clues to the Land Colonization by Fungi
- Colonization of land on the planet Earth is a critical part of the history of life.
- During this time, fungi played a variety of roles.
- Fungi contributed to continental weathering, biogeochemical cycles, and interaction with land organisms.
- Determining the time of when fungi colonized the land is crucial to understand the development of terrestrial ecosystem.
- Fungi may have separated around 1200 million years ago.
- However, it is unclear when fungi first moved to land.
- Pre-Devonian fossil record of fungi is very limited.
- There were a number of fungi fossils discovered but came from marine and estuarine environments, and did not show evidence that they came from terrestrial environment.
- Researchers discovered pyritized micro-fossils that looks like fungi in the basal Doushantuo Formation in China.
- Pyrites is a shiny yellow mineral consisting of iron disulphide and typically occurring as intersecting cubic crystals.
- The Doushantuo Formation dates back around 635 million years ago.
- These possible fungi colonized and were preserved in rocks formed after the period when the surface of the Earth was almost entirely frozen.
- Researchers interpreted the organisms as eukaryotes and possible fungi.
- The data provides direct fossil evidence and contributing a more specific timeline of when fungi colonized the land.
Gan, T., Luo, T., Pang, K. et al. Cryptic terrestrial fungus-like fossils of the early Ediacaran Period. Nat Commun 12, 641 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-20975-1 https://www.lexico.com/definition/pyrites
Research Article: Entorrhizomycota: A New Fungal Phylum Reveals New Perspectives on the Evolution of Fungi
Date Published: July 22, 2015 Publisher: Public Library of Science Author(s): Robert Bauer, Sigisfredo Garnica, Franz Oberwinkler, Kai Riess, Michael Weiß, Dominik Begerow, Matthew E. Smith. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0128183 Abstract: Entorrhiza is a small fungal genus comprising 14 species that all cause galls on roots of Cyperaceae and Juncaceae. Although this genus was established 130 years ago, … Continue reading
Date Published: February 26, 2008 Publisher: Public Library of Science Author(s): Brian B Tuch, David J Galgoczy, Aaron D Hernday, Hao Li, Alexander D Johnson, Laurence D Hurst Abstract: It is widely suspected that gene regulatory networks are highly plastic. The rapid turnover of transcription factor binding sites has been predicted on theoretical grounds and … Continue reading
Date Published: December 9, 2004 Publisher: Public Library of Science Author(s): Audrey P Gasch, Alan M Moses, Derek Y Chiang, Hunter B Fraser, Mark Berardini, Michael B Eisen Abstract: Relatively little is known about the mechanisms through which gene expression regulation evolves. To investigate this, we systematically explored the conservation of regulatory networks in fungi … Continue reading