Arctic Life/Arctic Fungi/Zygomycetes

From Arctic Bioscan Wiki

Order Mucorales

Life cycle of Mucorales.

This order includes all of the common saprobic zygomycetes. These species colonize substrates with readily available carbon sources, such as sugar and hemicellulose. They are commonly found in the upper layers of Arctic soils, in association with decaying organic matter such as leaf litter and dung. Species found in the Arctic belong to the genera Mucor, Rhizopus, Pilobolus, and Choanophora.

Pilobolus crystallinus

This organism is a fascinating coprophilous (dung-inhabiting) member of the Mucorales. It is one of the first species to appear in the fungal succession that occurs on herbivore dung, and has a unique "shooting" mechanism for dispersal of its spores. Pilobolus crystallinus is found in the Low Arctic regions across North America.

Order Glomales

Members of the order Glomales form endomycorrhizal associations with a variety of plants in the Arctic, in particular with species of the grass genus Festuca. Not only do the spores of Glomales species tolerate harsh arctic conditions, but they may even benefit from them. A dormancy period of six months at low temperature actually increases the germination success of the spores of many species of Glomales. Four species of Glomales have been recorded in the Canadian High Arctic: Glomus mosseae, G. macrocarpum, G. fasciculatum, and G. aggregatum.