Schüßler, Arthur Department of Biology, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Munich, Germany.
Last reviewed:October 2019
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- Mycorrhizal dependency
- Mycorrhizal types
- Arbuscular mycorrhizae
- Ericoid mycorrhizae
- Orchid mycorrhizae
- Inorganic nutrient uptake, transport, and exchange
- Carbon transport from plant to fungus
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Bipartite, intimate, and mutualistic symbioses that are formed by soil-inhabiting fungi and plants. Mycorrhizae (mycorrhizas) can be formed between different groups of fungi and the roots, rhizomes (underground horizontal shoots), or thalli (plant bodies that are not differentiated into shoots, leaves, and roots) of plants. Functionally, mycorrhizae act as dual organs of absorption, with the symbiotic fungi inhabiting the healthy absorbing organs (the aforementioned roots, rhizomes, or thalli) of plants. Overall, mycorrhizae are characterized by a plant–fungus interface, where intense bidirectional nutrient exchange takes place (Fig. 1). Most terrestrial plants, aquatic plants, and epiphytes (plants that grow nonparasitically on another plant or on some nonliving structure, such as a building or telephone pole, deriving moisture and nutrients from the air) can form mycorrhizal associations. In fact, more than 90% of land plants (embryophytes) benefit from this type of mutualistic relationship, indicating its outstanding impact for the great majority of terrestrial ecosystems. See also: Ecosystem; Fungal ecology; Fungi; Mutualism; Plant; Plant organs; Root (botany); Soil; Soil ecology; Symbiosis
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