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Mycorrhizae

  • Fungus-roots or mycorrhizae are symbiotic associations between a fungus partner and roots of higher plants.
  • This association is beneficial for both the fungus and the root.
  • The fungus facilitates the absorption of water and nutrients and in return the plant furnishes the fungus with sugars and amino acids.
  • Fungus provides a greater surface area for absorption of ions such as phosphates.
  • Most land plants enter into this kind of relationship with soil fungi.
  • Mycorrhizae are important for the regular growth of forest trees and herbaceous plants
  • The two main types of mycorrhiza are endotrophic, and ectotrophic
    • Endotrophic mycorrhiza - fungus may invades the host's roots, found on many herbaceous species, especially orchids
    • Ectotrophic mycorrhiza - fungus may form a sheath around the center of the root, often forms mantle of threadlike strands around the smaller roots for the absorption of water and nutrients, found on pines, oaks, beech, spruces, conifers etc.
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