The discovery of arbuscules in Aglaophyton major, an Early Devonian land plant, provides unequivocal evidence that mycorrhlizae were estabised >400 million years ago. Nonseptate hyphae and arbuscules occur in a specialized meristematic region ofthe cortex that continually provided new cells for fungal infection. Arbuscules are morphologically identical to those of living arbuscular mycorrhizae in consisting of a basal trunk and repeatedly branched bush-like tuft within the plant cell. Although interpretations of the evolution of mycorrhizal mutualisms continue to be speulative, the exis- tence of arbuscules in the Early Devonian indicates that nutrient transfer mutualism may have been in existence when plants invaded the land.
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