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Krings, Michael (2021): Stigonema (Nostocales, Cyanobacteria) in the Rhynie chert (Lower Devonian, Scotland). In: Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, Vol. 295, 104505

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Filamentous cyanobacteria are morphologically diverse. The most complex morphologies occur in the genus Stigonema (Stigonemataceae, Nostocales), which is heterocystous and characterized by true-branched, multiseriate or uniseriate trichomes surrounded by a sheath. There is virtually no documentation of fossil equivalents to Stigonema. This study describes a specimen of a new filamentous cyanobacterium, Rhystigonema obscurum nov. gen. et sp., from the Lower Devonian Rhynie chert that appears to have been preserved due to the fortuitous circumstance that it was located in a microbial mat at the time of silicification. The specimen consists of a large (>50 mu mwide), true-branched, multiseriate trichome enveloped in a prominent sheath. It can satisfactorily be placed in Stigonemataceae based on morphology;were it not for the lack of molecular evidence, it could also be assigned to Stigonema. Rhystigonema obscurum broadens our knowledge of cyanobacterial biodiversity in early non-marine ecosystems. (C) 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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