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Hidden soil fungus, now revealed, is in a class all its own
Date:8/12/2011

actly what role the fungus does play in nature and how it interacts with plants and other fungi.

"At this point we're still in the early stages of understanding what it's doing out there," James said.

Whether A. finlayi turns out to be beneficial or detrimental to the plants or microbes it interacts with, it's sure to contribute to understanding the diverse array of fungi in the world.

Though environmental DNA of SCG1 had been collected and reported in more than 50 previous studies, the type of DNA collected in the past didn't lend itself to analyses that would definitively pinpoint the group's position on the tree of life.

"Now that we have the culture, we can sequence almost any gene we want, so that's what we've done," James said.

The resulting information, combined with DNA data from the previous studies, revealed that A. finlayi belongs in an eclectic subphylum known as Taphrinomycotina, other members of which include the yeast Schizosaccharomyces, often used in studies of cell biology and evolution, and Pneumocystis, which can cause pneumonia in people with weakened immune systems, such as those who have cancer or HIV/AIDS or are undergoing treatment with immune-suppressing drugs.


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Contact: Nancy Ross-Flanigan
rossflan@umich.edu
734-647-1853
University of Michigan
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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