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Plant Signal Behav. 2007 Mar;2(2):125-6.

An alternative mode of early land plant colonization by putative endomycorrhizal fungi.

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Bayerische Staatssammlung für Paläontologie und Geologie und GeoBio-Center LMU; Munich, Germany.


Rhizomatous axes of Nothia aphylla, a land plant from the 400-myr-old Rhynie chert, host a fungus that closely resembles Glomites rhyniensis (Glomeromycota), the endomycorrhizal fungus of the Rhynie chert plant Aglaophyton major. However, G. rhyniensis is an intercellular endophyte that becomes intracellular exclusively within a well-defined region of the cortex, while the fungus in N. aphylla initially is intracellular but later becomes intercellular in the cortex. We hypothesize that N. aphylla displays an alternative mode of colonization by endomycorrhizal fungi, perhaps related to the peculiar internal anatomy of the lower portion of the rhizomatous axis, in which the radial arrangement of cells, along with the virtual absence of intercellular spaces, provides no intercellular infection pathway into the cortex.


Aglaophyton major; Early Devonian; Glomeromycota; Nothia aphylla; Rhynie chert; endomycorrhiza

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