MASSIMO BREGA, THE LIGHTHOUSE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MASSIMO BREGA, THE LIGHTHOUSE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mycorrhiza research. Microbiologist using a light microscope to study a plant whose roots have been inoculated with a mycorrhizal fungi. A fungal hyphae is seen on the screen at centre. A mycorrhiza is an association between a soil fungus and the roots of a vascular plant. The majority of vascular plant roots are mycorrhizal. 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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