Azolla plant surface, SEM

Azolla plant surface, SEM

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Credit: STEFAN DILLER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Azolla plant surface. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the surface of an Azolla (water fern) plant. This plant has a symbiotic relationship with Anabaena cyanobacteria, where the cyanobacteria doubles the rate of photosynthesis and fulfils the nitrogen requirements of the plant. Both these factors give the water fern a competitive advantage over other water plants, a factor spotted by the Chinese 2000 years ago. The Anabaena-Azolla association is used as a green manure for rice crops. Anabaena is a filamentous organism, which, apart from vegetative cells, forms heterocysts and akinetes.

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Keywords: adaptation, adapted, anabaena, azolla, biological, biology, botanical, botany, coloured, cyanobacteria, cyanobacterium, evolution, evolutionary, false-coloured, flora, leaf, microbiological, microbiology, mutualism, mutualistic, nature, nitrogen fixation, no-one, nobody, photosynthesis, photosynthetic, plant, scanning electron micrograph, scanning electron microscope, sem, surface, symbiosis, symbiotic, water fern

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