Nov 28, 2022

These Mysterious Fungi Belong to an Entirely New Branch on The Tree of Life

Posted by in category: genetics

Some of Earth’s weirdest fungi, including types of lichen, mycorrhizal, and insect symbiotes, never quite seemed to fit in our current tree of life.

But a new genetic analysis discovered that despite the extreme differences between these oddballs, they actually all belong together on an entirely new branch that parted ways with other fungi more than 300 million years ago.

“I like to think of these as the platypus and echidna of the fungal world,” says University of Alberta mycologist Toby Spribille, because of the fungi’s peculiar traits.

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