The Confluence


Jake SunFollow

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The growth of mycorrhizal fungi into plant roots used to be viewed as a parasitic relationship between plants and fungi, where the fungal symbiont benefits and the plant host is harmed. Current research elucidates a mutualistic relationship. The mycorrhizae network assists the plants by increasing the capabilities for nutrient absorption in the soil. In exchange, the fungi receive carbon supply from the photosynthetic plants for growth. Our scientific understanding of other topics like species specificity, seed germination, and co-evolutionary influence of mycorrhizae and plants has also progressed. Additionally, we now understand that the mycorrhizal mutualism is not limited to the roots of a single plant species and the mycelium associated with it. Mycorrhizae networks have an ecological impact on other species within the community since networks can be developed among roots of multiple plants. Non-photosynthetic plants rely heavily on these interconnected mycorrhizae. In perspective, mycorrhizae influence the relationships between plants and fungi, along with the environmental factors, in the ecosystem. More specifically, the relationships of the plant roots and the fungal mycelium within the soil along with other microorganisms, like bacteria, influences overall productively above and below the soil.

Author Bio

Jake Sun is a Biological Science (BS) with Emphasis in Cellular and Molecular Biology major. Jake is currently a junior and a student administrative assistant worker for the school of sciences in the biology department. He is also a part of the Honors college and the National Society of Leadership and Success here at Lindenwood. Class of 2023 is the expected graduating year. He is from Brooklyn, New York and grew up in Saint Peters, Missouri. Jake attended Fort Zumwalt East High School and graduated in 2019 with summa cum laude and AP honors. In the future, attending medical school and becoming a physician is the career goal.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.