Scientists have found "invisible mushrooms" on the traces of their DNA in the soil

For most people, the word "mushroom" is associated with something like a chanterelle or fly agaric, which can be seen

stretching out of the ground. However, mushrooms often do not form distinct fruiting bodies and are not conspicuous. Like recently discovered mushrooms. Invisible to the naked eye, they are nevertheless common in the forest soils of Northern and Central Europe. This conclusion was made by scientists based on DNA analysis in soil samples.

The discovery of such "invisible" views is possiblethanks to a method that relies on the extraction of both long DNA sequences (to study the relationships between species) and short ones to get an idea of ​​how common the species are.

“Our data show that the detected mushrooms -two closely related but different species that compete for resources in the soil. One wins this competition and dominates the organic soil. We named it Archaeorhizomyces victor (Latin victoria - "victory"). We have Archaeorhizomyces secundus in second place, ”explains Anna Rosling of the Department of Ecology and Genetics at Uppsala University, who led the work.

Where two species coexist - in soil and rootsmixed and coniferous forest - Archaeorhizomyces victor prevails in humus-rich soil. A little deeper in the ground, where the soil contains fewer nutrients, the victor "feels bad" and secundus does not interfere with the spread.

These species belong to the classArchaeorhizomycetes, a group of ancient fungal root endophytes: fungi that colonize the root tissue of plants from the inside and live in symbiosis with the host, improving plant productivity without causing obvious harm.

Thanks to these two newly discovered mushroomsthe number of known species of Archaeorhizomycetes has doubled. Even more important, the researchers believe they have developed a method for identifying new species. It is independent of the cultivation or discovery of the fruiting body of the mushrooms.

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