Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mysterious soil fungi identified

12.08.2011
Researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Uppsala, Sweden, have cultivated and classified fungi that had previously been known only through DNA sequences.

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 Anna Rosling, Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, SLU Uppsala (temporarily at Indiana University in the US), tel. +1 812 361 8003. E-mail: Anna.Rosling@slu.se

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.se

Archaeorhizomycetes: Unearthing an Ancient Class of Ubiquitous Soil Fungi.
Anna Rosling, Filipa Cox, Karelyn Cruz-Martinez, Katarina Ihrmark, Gwen-Aëlle Grelet, Björn D. Lindahl, Audrius Menkis, and Timothy Y. James

Science 12 August 2011: 876-879. [DOI:10.1126/science.1206958]

Mikael Propst | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se
http://www.sciencemag.org/search?site_area=sci&y=0&fulltext=Mysterious%20soil%20fungi%20identified&x=0&submit=yes

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute

nachricht Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>