Potteromyces asteroxylicola

Dec. 10, 2023

Researchers discover a 407-million-year-old fungus fossil, Potteromyces asteroxylicola in the Rhynie Chert, marking the oldest evidence of fungi causing diseases.

About Potteromyces asteroxylicola:

  • It was found infecting the ancient plant Asteroxylon mackiei, showcasing a predator-prey interaction that occurred while the plant was alive.
  • The unique reproductive structures of Potteromyces, known as conidiophores, stood out with their unusual shape and formation, leading to its designation as a new species.
  • Its reproductive structures, known as conidiophores, had an unusual shape and formation.
  • Rhynie Chert site in Scotland is known for its well-preserved Early Devonian communities of plants and animals, including fungi and bacteria. 

What is Devonian Period?

  • It is spanning between about 2 million and 358.9 million years ago.
  • It is sometimes called the “Age of Fishes” because of the diverse, abundant and in some cases, bizarre types of these creatures that swam Devonian seas.
  • Forests and the coiled shell-bearing marine organisms known as ammonites first appeared early in the Devonian.
  • Late in the period the first four-legged amphibians appeared, indicating the colonization of land by vertebrates.
  • During the Devonian, there were three major continental masses: North America and Europe sat together near the equator, with much of their current area covered by shallow seas. To the north lay a portion of modern Siberia. A composite continent of South America, Africa, Antarctica, India, and Australia dominated the southern hemisphere.