The Spring 2017 Lab

The Spring 2017 Lab
Rina, Mauro, Debs, Rob, Daniel

Lab Members

Debs Gore-Lloyd
Rob Hicks
Mauro Moreno


The evolutionary history of 'basal fungi' is perplexing. This paper from Andrii Gryganskyi in Rytas Vilgalys' lab on the phylogeny of the Entomophthoromycota (recently Entomophthormycotina) suggests that this lineage diverges from the rest of the fungi over 400 million years ago. That conclusion is in line with previous results, but what is perplexing is the the age of some of those internal nodes. While my favorite group, the Basidiobolus lineage, is quite old and dates back more or less to the origin of the phylum, it is surprising how old and genetically diverse the Conidiobolus genus is. The finding that this genus is paraphyletic and quite diverse suggests to me that there are likely to be quite a few nodes that are yet unsampled that emerge from the long branches that lead to the Entomophthoraceae and probably from the short but old branch leading to the Basidiobolaceae. How will we find these missing lineages? Perhaps there is still a long time to go in the 'discovery phase' for fungi using molecular detection.