Sunday, 30 June 2019

One-Billion-Year-Old Fungus found in the Canadian Arctic

Microphotograph of Ourasphaira giraldae. Image: Corentin Loron et al
Scientists have discovered fossils of a fungus that lived roughly one billion years ago—yes, billion—making it over twice as old as any other fungi specimens identified to date.

Named Ourasphaira giraldae, the new species of fungus was found in the Grassy Bay Formation in the Canadian Arctic. Researchers led by Corentin Loron, a PhD student at Université de Liège, identified key fungal features in micrometer-scale fossils extracted from unexplored shale at this remote site.

The discovery, announced  in Nature, not only pushes the fossil record of fungi back by about 600 million years, it also suggests that other eukaryotic organisms—a group that includes complex multicellular life-forms like animals—may have originated around the same time as O. giraldae, in the mid-Proterozoic age.

For further details, see: Vice

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology

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