GoLife: Filling the largest void in the fungal genealogy of life (the Pezizomycotina) and integrating symbiotic, environmental and physiological data layers.


The complementarity of absorptive heterotrophy and photoautotrophy has resulted in ecological interactions between fungi and photosynthetic organisms (cyanobacteria, algae, and embryophytes) that range from parasitism to mutualism, and include plant decomposition by saprotrophic fungi. Together these interactions represent a central mechanism underlying the immense macroevolutionary success of fungi and plants, which in turn has transformed terrestrial landscapes over evolutionary timeframes. Current perspectives on fungal-autotroph interactions focus primarily on plant-pathogenic, lichenized, and mycorrhizal fungi, but recent advances indicate that these represent only a subset of functional, physiological, genetic, and phylogenetic diversity in the fungal kingdom. The ‘unknown’ components of the fungal tree not only frame these best-known fungal symbioses with an evolutionary and ecological context, but also comprise important functional, ecological, and evolutionary dynamics that are fundamental to the productivity, community structure, and evolution of photoautotrophic organisms.