Original paper

Microorganisms associated with the seed fern Lyginopteris oldhamia (Binney) H. Potonié (Lyginopteridales) from the Carboniferous of Great Britain

Krings, Michael;Taylor, Thomas N.;Dotzler, Nora


Several types of microbial filaments and isolated reproductive units occur in structurally preserved Lyginopteris oldhamia stems and pinna axes from the Lower Coal Measures (Lower Pennsylvanian) of Great Britain. One common type of filament is narrow, tubular, and forms clusters or coils in host cells, while another type is wide and characterized by irregular swellings. Reproductive units are mostly spheroid, but differ from one another in size and wall thickness. This assemblage probably represents a community of saprotrophs. Concentrations of microbial filaments around the cortical sclerotic bars of the pinna axes and in the stalks of multicellular glands may suggest that these structures served as sites of entry into the plant. Although the systematic affinities of the microbial remains in L. oldhamia cannot be precisely determined, their discovery contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of the diversity and biological roles of microorganisms in Carboniferous continental ecosystems.


cortical sclerotic barhyphaemicrobial filamentpteridospermreproductive unitsaprophytismPennsylvanianzygomycetous fungi