Mycorrhiza research

Mycorrhiza research

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Credit: MASSIMO BREGA, THE LIGHTHOUSE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mycorrhiza research. Roots of a plant that has been inoculated with an endomycorrhizal fungus (Glomus sp.) in a petri dish. A mycorrhiza is an association between a soil fungus and the roots of a vascular plant. The majority of vascular plant roots are mycorrhizal. Endomycorrhizal fungi grow within cell walls of the root. Both organisms benefit from this association. The fungus is able to access nutrient forms unavailable to the plant, process them and pass them on to the roots. The mass of fungal hyphae also provide a large surface area for the uptake of water and minerals. The fungus receives carbon compounds that the plant produces via photosynthesis. Photographed at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Pisa, Italy.

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