One billion year old fungi is found to be earths oldest fungus

May 26, 2019


Microfossils of a globular spore connected to a T-shaped filament excavated in an Arctic region of northwestern Canada represent the oldest-known fungus.


26 May 2019 Current Affairs: Microfossils of a globular spore connected to a T-shaped filament excavated in an Arctic region of northwestern Canada represent the oldest-known fungus. This discovery sheds light on the origins of an important branch in earth’s tree of life.
Scientists said that the multicellular fungus that they named Ourasphaira Giralda, a forerunner to an immensely diverse group that today includes the likes of mushrooms, yeasts, and molds, lived in an estuary environment about 900 million to 1 billion years ago. Until now, the oldest-known fungus fossil was one about 410 million years old from Scotland.
The microscopic fossils, contained in shale rock from the Northwest Territories of Canada, date back to the Proterozoic era, before the advent of complex life forms. The study was published in Nature.


Fungi:
Fungi belong to a broad group of organisms, called eukaryotes, that possesses a clearly defined nucleus and also includes animals and plants. A fundamental difference between fungi and plants is that fungi are incapable of photosynthesis, harnessing sunlight to synthesize nutrients.
Fungi play a key role in global ecosystems such as in the organic decomposition process.