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Trends Ecol Evol. 1998 Jan 1;13(1):15-20.

The land flora: a phototroph-fungus partnership?

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  • 1Equipe de Microbiologie Forestière, INRA Nancy, 54280 Champenoux, France.


Numerous mutualistic associations between phototrophs and fungi exist in the extant land biota. Some are widespread, such as lichens and mycorrhizae, but some are less well known or restricted to special ecological conditions, such as endophytes in plants and algae. Recent molecular data and fossils suggest that associations arose repeatedly and that some of them are ancient, and even ancestral in the case of land plants. Mutualism, that provides various adaptations to terrestrial constraints, may have played a crucial role during terrestrialization and evolution of land phototrophs.

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