Billion-year-old fossils set back evolution of earliest fungi

Billion-year-old fossils set back evolution of earliest fungi

Chemical analyses suggest that the fossils contain chitin, a compound found in fungal cell walls. The fossils were discovered in billion-year-old rock, and the presence of chitin in the specimens further persuaded the researchers that they were preserved fungi that died a billion years ago. But palaeobiologist Christine Strullu-Derrien of the Natural History Museum in London says that previous molecular analyses have suggested that the only fungi living one billion years ago were simple, single-celled creatures — and did not possess the more complex, filamented structures seen in the fossils.

Source: www.nature.com

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