Mycorrhizae

Mycorrhizae

Although it is difficult to see, fungi are growing next to the roots of this plant pictured above. The relationship between the roots of vascular plants and fungi is known as a mycorrhiza. This is a mutually beneficial and symbiotic relationship between the roots of vascular plants and fungi. These associations become available once the fungi take over the roots of the host plant. The fungi can take over the plant roots by either extra-cellular or intracellular means. What allows the plant and fungi to coexist beneficially is mycorrhiza. It allows for the exchange of waters, sugars, minerals, and a plethora of nutrients. The fungi takes away resources from the plant but the plant also strips the fungi of its nutrients at the same time. This eventually leads to the two working together in order to gather their necessary resources. This association increases the surface area of both the fungi and the plant.

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