Discovering common fungi

March 1, 2012 By Dr. Martin Bidartondo, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Archaeorhizomycetes viewed under a scanning electron microscope. Credit: Anna Rosling

Fungi are among the most diverse and understudied organisms, so major evolutionary branches composed of hundreds of species are still being discovered.

In the course of her PhD studies at Kew and Imperial College London on in Europe’s forests, supported by the Natural Environment Research Council, Filipa Cox detected in pine roots on the basis of DNA also recorded on other continents by other molecular ecologists.

An international team led by Anna Rosling (Uppsala BioCentre/Indiana University) has now been successful in culturing these fungi in vitro and has shown them to be a diverse, ancient and previously unknown group, the class Archaeorhizomycetes.

Explore further: Hidden soil fungus, now revealed, is in a class all its own

More information: Rosling, A., et al. (2011). Archaeorhizomycetes: unearthing an ancient class of ubiquitous soil fungi. Science 333: 876-879.

Related Stories

Fungi-filled forests are critical for endangered orchids

January 24, 2012

When it comes to conserving the world's orchids, not all forests are equal. In a paper to be published Jan. 25 in the journal Molecular Ecology, Smithsonian ecologists revealed that an orchid's fate hinges on two factors: ...

Orchids and fungi -- partners for life

August 13, 2009

Three Thai orchids have been found to rely on a wide range of fungi to help them take carbon out of the soil instead of producing their own organic carbon. A detailed study of the relationship, published in the open access ...

Mold fungi can cure plants

November 1, 2011

We know them from our garden, from damp cellars or from the fridge - mold fungi can be found almost everywhere. Their success is due to their remarkable versatility:  depending on external conditions, they can choose ...

Recommended for you

Vampire bat's blood-only diet 'a big evolutionary win'

February 20, 2018

At first glance, the cost-benefit ratio of a blood-only diet suggests that vampire bats—the only mammals to feed exclusively on the viscous, ruby-red elixir—flew down an evolutionary blind alley.

Duplicate genes help animals resolve sexual conflict

February 19, 2018

Duplicate copies of a gene shared by male and female fruit flies have evolved to resolve competing demands between the sexes. New genetic analysis by researchers at the University of Chicago describes how these copies have ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.