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Abstract Detail

Paleobotanical Section

Taylor, Thomas [1], Krings, Michael [2], Dotzler, Nora [2].

Where are the fossil zygomycetes?

Molecular evidence suggests that the Zygomycota is an ancient lineage of Fungi that may have extended back into the Precambrian. Modern zygomycetes are characterized by a special mode of sexual reproduction that involves gametangial fusion and the formation of a zygospore within a zygosporangium. Historically the fossil record of this group was believed to be extensive, but after the establishment of the Glomeromycota fossil evidence of true Zygomycota is rare. One interesting type of fossil that has been variously associated with the Zygomycota are structures commonly referred to as sporocarps. These structures, which range from the Carboniferous into the Triassic, are composed of interlaced hyphae that surround a central cavity. Although the precise systematic position remains controversial, new evidence from the Carboniferous of France indicates that at least some sporocarps represent mantled zygospores like those of some modern Zygomycota. Other evidence from the Middle Triassic of Antarctica indicates that at least some of the structures termed sporocarps were produced together within a sac-like structure very similar to that found in modern sporocarp-forming Zygomycota. In this presentation we review the biodiversity of what have been termed fossil sporocarps, and highlight those forms that that may be assigned to the Zygomycota with some degree of confidence.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - University Of Kansas, Department Of Ecology And Evolutionary Biology, 1200 Sunnyside Avenue, Haworth Hall, Lawrence, KS, 66045-2106, USA
2 - Bayerische Staatssammlung fuer Palaeontologie, Richard-Wagner Strasse 10, Munich, 80333, Germany

fossil fungi

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 21
Location: Lindell C/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Monday, July 11th, 2011
Time: 4:15 PM
Number: 21003
Abstract ID:42

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