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Science. 2011 Aug 12;333(6044):876-9. doi: 10.1126/science.1206958.

Archaeorhizomycetes: unearthing an ancient class of ubiquitous soil fungi.

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  • 1Department of Forest Mycology and Pathology, Uppsala BioCentre, SLU, Box 7026, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden.


Estimates suggest that only one-tenth of the true fungal diversity has been described. Among numerous fungal lineages known only from environmental DNA sequences, Soil Clone Group 1 is the most ubiquitous. These globally distributed fungi may dominate below-ground fungal communities, but their placement in the fungal tree of life has been uncertain. Here, we report cultures of this group and describe the class, Archaeorhizomycetes, phylogenetically placed within subphylum Taphrinomycotina in the Ascomycota. Archaeorhizomycetes comprises hundreds of cryptically reproducing filamentous species that do not form recognizable mycorrhizal structures and have saprotrophic potential, yet are omnipresent in roots and rhizosphere soil and show ecosystem and host root habitat specificity.

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