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Krings, Michael (2021): The Rhynie chert land plant Aglaophyton majus harbored cyanobacteria in necrotic local lesions. In: Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie-Abhandlungen, Vol. 300, No. 3: pp. 279-289

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Necrotic local lesions are common in axes of the early land plant Aglaophyton majus from the Lower Devonian Rhynie chert;they likely originated from injuries inflicted by animals. Here I report on rare occurrences of lesions containing cyanobacterial filaments assignable to Archaeothrix oscillatoriformis. The filaments are non-heterocystous, unbranched, and consist of simple trichomes (3.5-4.8 mu m wide) of discoid cells enveloped in a sheath. Well-suited present-day morphological equivalents are found in the traditional, broadly defined genus Phormidium (Oscillatoriaceae). On the outside of one lesion occur clustered filament fragments of a second, slightly larger cyanobacterium, suggesting that cyanobacteria migrated towards the disruptions, possibly because they were attracted to, and profited from, substances made available through the degradation of the necrotic tissue.

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