Monday, October 16th at 7:30 p.m.
Sparr Heights Community Center
Speaker: David Bermudes
Program: "What is a Fungus? The Opisthokonta lineage and the last common ancestor of animals and fungi"
For me, this question arises from discussions with other scientists at different times and different places, with each person taking a different view. The general question posed at the time was: 'Are chytrids true fungi?'. To explore this question, we'll take a backward looking view at the lineage the fungi belong to, which is the same as our lineage; the Opisthokonts (hind poles; referring to our flagella). Since this means we as animals share a common ancestor with the fungi, we will assemble a mosaic image of what that common ancestor might have been like. We will start by tracing the symbiotic origin of the eukaryotic organelles, mitochondria and plastids, as part of our discussion on the eukaryotes that includes protists, the fungi, and all animals. Slides include phylogenetic trees based on molecular data (DNA for proteins and rRNA) and images of fossil and/or putative fossil fungi.