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Mycologia. 2016 Mar-Apr;108(2):303-12. doi: 10.3852/15-224. Epub 2016 Jan 6.

An enigmatic fossil fungus from the 410 Ma Rhynie chert that resembles Macrochytrium (Chytridiomycota) and Blastocladiella (Blastocladiomycota).

Author information

1
Department für Geo- und Umweltwissenschaften, Paläontologie und Geobiologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, and Bayerische Staatssammlung für Paläontologie und Geologie, Richard-Wagner-Straße 10, 80333 Munich, GermanyDepartment of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Institute, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas 66045-7534 m.krings@lrz.uni-muenchen.de.
2
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Institute, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas 66045-7534.
3
Bayerische Staatssammlung für Paläontologie und Geologie, Richard-Wagner-Straße 10, 80333 Munich, Germany.

Abstract

Litter layers in the Lower Devonian (~ 410 Ma) Rhynie chert were inhabited by a wide variety of saprotrophic fungi, however, only a few of these organisms have been described formally. A new microfungus, Trewinomyces annulifer gen. et sp. nov., occurs as tufts on decaying land plant axes from the Rhynie chert. The fungus consists of an intramatrical rhizoidal system and an erect extramatrical hypha (stalk) that bears a single, terminal sporangium. One or two successive rings often are present in the stalk immediately below the sporangium base. Overall morphology of T. annulifer resembles the extant genera Macrochytrium (Chytridiomycota) and Blastocladiella (Blastocladiomycota). However, the rhizoids are septate or pseudoseptate, a feature not known in extant zoosporic fungi, and thus render the systematic affinities of T. annulifer unresolved. Trewinomyces annulifer offers a rare view of the morphology of a distinctive Early Devonian saprotrophic microfungus.

KEYWORDS:

bipolar thallus; discharge papilla; operculum; rhizoidal system; saprotrophism; sporangium

PMID:
26740543
DOI:
10.3852/15-224
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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