The fungi, which have lived hidden underground for millions of years, represent a class of fungi that is new to scientists, Archaeorhizomycetes. The findings are being published in the scientific journal Science on August 12.
Archaeorhizomyces finlayi was isolated from the tip of a pine root that was colonized by a mycorrhizal fungus. However, scientists have not been able to show that A. finlayi forms ectomycorrhizal structures on roots in the lab. Photographed with a light microscope.
Photo: Audrius Menkis
Fungus hyphae and swellings (chlamydospores). The fungus was fixated and then photographed using a scanning electron microscope.
Photo: Anna Rosling & Karelyn Cruz Martinez
The fungi now classified are considerably more prevalent in the ground than was previously thought, and they probably occur all over the world, scientists believe. DNA has been identified from about a hundred different species of Archaeorhizomycetes. The findings are based on more than 50 studies from different ecosystems such as pine forests in Sweden, grasslands in California, and tropical rainforests in Costa Rica and Australia.
– I believe it would be difficult to find a soil sample that does not contain these fungi, says Associate Professor Anna Rosling, who led the work at the SLU Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology. Since they are so common in the ground, we assume they play an important role in soil ecosystems, and now that we can cultivate them, we can finally explore what they do.
– It’s not quite clear what their role is, but our findings will be of great importance for how we study the function of fungi in the ecosystem and for our understanding of the evolution of fungi.
Nearly twelve years ago, Anna Rosling and her colleagues took samples of coniferous tree roots in Nyänget outside Umeå in Sweden. They cultivated fungi from these roots, but it was a long time before they realize that the slowly growing, beige-colored culture was a unique species, the first known culture of a mysterious type of new soil fungi.
The species was named by the SLU researchers: Archaeorhizomyces finlayi. The “last name” is after a colleague at the department, Professor Roger Finlay.
– We wanted to recognize his many contributions to the scientific understanding of ground ecosystems, says Anna Rosling.
Others participating in the fungus studies from the SLU department are Associate Professor Audrius Menkis, Associate Professor Björn D. Lindahl, Research Engineer Katarina Ihrmark, and former Postdoctoral Fellow Karelyn Cruz-Martinez. Collaborative partners have been researchers from the University of Michigan in the US, Imperial College in London, England, and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.
Footnote: Archaeorhizomyces means “primordial root fungus”. The hyphae (= mushroom) are between 1 and 1.5 µm (1000th mm) in diameter. The common size is 3-5 µm but up to 10-15 µm occurs. It is also interesting that this fungus lives as a mycelium (filaments) unlike their closest relatives, yeast fungi.Contact:
Associate Professor Björn D. Lindahl, Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, SLU Uppsala, tel. +46 (0)18 – 67 27 25. E-mail: Bjorn.Lindahl@slu.seArchaeorhizomycetes: Unearthing an Ancient Class of Ubiquitous Soil Fungi.
Science 12 August 2011: 876-879. [DOI:10.1126/science.1206958]
Mikael Propst | idw
Cancer diagnosis: no more needles?
25.05.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found
25.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences