Fungus-like mycelial fossils in 2.4-billion-year-old vesicular basalt

  title={Fungus-like mycelial fossils in 2.4-billion-year-old vesicular basalt},
  author={Stefan Bengtson and Birger Rasmussen and Magnus Ivarsson and Janet Muhling and Curt Broman and Federica Marone and Marco Stampanoni and Andrey Bekker},
  journal={Nature Ecology \&Evolution},
Fungi have recently been found to comprise a significant part of the deep biosphere in oceanic sediments and crustal rocks. Fossils occupying fractures and pores in Phanerozoic volcanics indicate that this habitat is at least 400 million years old, but its origin may be considerably older. A 2.4-billion-year-old basalt from the Palaeoproterozoic Ongeluk Formation in South Africa contains filamentous fossils in vesicles and fractures. The filaments form mycelium-like structures growing from a… 
Molecular identification of fungi microfossils in a Neoproterozoic shale rock
Fungi fossils in a 810 to 715 million year old dolomitic shale from the Mbuji-Mayi Supergroup, Democratic Republic of Congo are identified as remnants of fungal networks and represent the oldest, molecularly identified remains of Fungi.
Fungi in Deep Subsurface Environments.
Early fungi from the Proterozoic era in Arctic Canada
It is shown, using morphological, ultrastructural and spectroscopic analyses, that multicellular organic-walled microfossils preserved in shale of the Grassy Bay Formation, which dates to approximately 1,010–890 million years ago, have a fungal affinity.
Fossilized anaerobic and possibly methanogenesis-fueling fungi identified deep within the Siljan impact structure, Sweden
Recent discoveries of extant and fossilized communities indicate that eukaryotes, including fungi, inhabit energy-poor and anoxic environments deep within the fractured igneous crust. This
Cryptic terrestrial fungus-like fossils of the early Ediacaran Period
The colonization of land by fungi had a significant impact on the terrestrial ecosystem and biogeochemical cycles on Earth surface systems. Although fungi may have diverged ~1500–900 million years
A ‘Giant Microfossil’ from the Gunflint Chert and its Implications for Fungal and Eukaryote Origins
A ‘giant microfossil’ resembling the beaked, muriform conidium 17 (dictyospore) of the modern ascomycete fungus Alternaria may provide very early evidence for eukaryotes 26 (fungi) in the fossil record.
Ancient Oil as a Source of Carbonaceous Matter in 1.88-Billion-Year-Old Gunflint Stromatolites and Microfossils.
It is suggested that hydrocarbons that migrated through the silicifying stromatolites infiltrated semi-hollow microbial molds that formed following silica nucleation on the walls or sheaths of decayed cells and were transformed to nanoporous pyrobitumen, retarding silica recrystallization and enhancing detailed preservation of the carbon-rich microfossils.
Earth's earliest and deepest purported fossils may be iron-mineralized chemical gardens
  • S. McMahon
  • Geology, Geography
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B
  • 2019
Here, it is shown experimentally that abiotic chemical gardening can mimic such purported fossils in both morphology and composition, while also producing the precursors to the iron minerals most commonly constitutive of filaments in the rock record.
Instant Attraction: Clay Authigenesis in Fossil Fungal Biofilms
Clay authigenesis associated with the activity of microorganisms is an important process for biofilm preservation and may provide clues to the formation of biominerals on the ancient Earth.


Fungal colonies in open fractures of subseafloor basalt
The deep subseafloor crust is one of the few great frontiers of unknown biology on Earth and, still today, the notion of the deep biosphere is commonly based on the fossil record. Interpretation of
Zygomycetes in Vesicular Basanites from Vesteris Seamount, Greenland Basin – A New Type of Cryptoendolithic Fungi
Fungi have been recognized as a frequent colonizer of subseafloor basalt but a substantial understanding of their abundance, diversity and ecological role in this environment is still lacking, so it is most likely that marine debris is the main carbon source for fungi in shallow volcanic rocks, which favored the establishment of vital colonies.
Fossilized fungi in subseafloor Eocene basalts
The deep biosphere of subseafloor basalts is thought to consist of mainly prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea). Here we report fossilized filamentous microorganisms from subseafloor basalts interpreted
Ancient Fungal Life in North Pacific Eocene Oceanic Crust
We present evidence that eukaryotic life has existed in an extreme environment, inside the oceanic crust. Up to now only prokaryotes have been discovered within deep marine sediments and glass-rims
Deep‐biosphere consortium of fungi and prokaryotes in Eocene subseafloor basalts
A consortium of fossilized prokaryotic and eukaryotic micro-organisms, occupying cavities in deep-drilled vesicular basalt from the Emperor Seamounts, Pacific Ocean, open a window to the extant as well as the ancient deep biosphere.
A Fungal-Prokaryotic Consortium at the Basalt-Zeolite Interface in Subseafloor Igneous Crust
The results show how microbial life may be maintained in a nutrient-poor and extreme environment by close ecological interplay and reveal an effective strategy for nutrient extraction from minerals.
Reconstructing the early evolution of Fungi using a six-gene phylogeny
It is indicated that there may have been at least four independent losses of the flagellum in the kingdom Fungi, and the enigmatic microsporidia seem to be derived from an endoparasitic chytrid ancestor similar to Rozella allomycis, on the earliest diverging branch of the fungal phylogenetic tree.
Deep Sequencing of Subseafloor Eukaryotic rRNA Reveals Active Fungi across Marine Subsurface Provinces
Geochemical correlations with fungal pyrosequencing and TRFLP data from this geographically broad sample set suggests environmental selection of active Fungi in the marine subsurface.