Fungi held hostage in ancient glacial ice for 140,000 years brought back to life!
Glacial ice is capable of sheltering microorganisms for a long time. The icy environment protects spores and hyphae from UV radiation, oxidation and chemical damage. Recently scientists have isolated and revived fungi that were recovered from ice cores up to 140,000 years old! Many species of ascomycetes including Penicillium, Cladosporium, and Aspergillus have been identified, as well as one genus of basidiomycete (Pleurotus). These frozen fungi may provide scientists with insights on the biology, ecology, diversity, and evolution of arctic fungi.