Original paper

An Early Carboniferous leaf-colonizing fungus

Hübers, Maren; Bomfleur, Benjamin; Krings, Michael; Kerp, Hans

Abstract

Documented evidence of fungi inhabiting the leaves of Palaeozoic land plants is rare. This paper describes impressions of rosette-like fungal thalli on a dispersed plant cuticle from the Lower Carboniferous of Chemnitz-Glösa (Germany). Circular structures in the centre of one thallus are interpreted as infection pores. Host reactions occur in the form of extensive cutinizations around the thallus margins. The thalli are interpreted as hyphopodia or some other epiphyllous structure of a parasitic fungus that facilitated host attachment and penetration. This discovery represents the oldest direct fossil evidence of fungal growth on leaf surfaces.

Keywords

fossil fungihyphopodiumcuticular analysishainichen subgroupvisean