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The discovery of a new order of parasitic marine fungi, Spathulosporales, appears to give new evidence for an evolutionary link between red algae and Ascomycetes. This hypothesis, advanced 100 years ago by Julius Sachs, was rejected by most modern treatises. Reproduction in Rhodophyta and Ascomycetes is compared and linking characters between these groups are discussed. Representatives of Spathulosporales are considered "living fossils." The number of marine fungi is expected to be considerably below that of terrestrial fungi.
BioScience © 1975 American Institute of Biological Sciences