Article: An unusual microfungus in a fungal spore from the Lower Devonian Rhynie chert
A new fossil microfungus, Kryphiomyces catenulatus gen. et sp. nov., occurs as an endobiotic mycelial thallus in a large spore of a glomeromycotan fungus from the Lower Devonian Rhynie chert. The thallus consists of branched (?pseudo-)septate hyphae with numerous catenulate swellings. Some hyphal tips produce spherical reproductive structures or propagules. Hyphal morphology in K. catenulatus is reminiscent of that in certain extant Hyphochytridiomycota, Chytridiomycota, and even Ascomycota, but specific diagnostic features that allow assignment of the fossil to modern groups are absent. The discovery of this interfungal association broadens our knowledge about the diversity of microfungi and their intricate associations in early continental ecosystems.