Symbiosis

Symbiosis:

Two significant kinds of symbiotic union are prepared by fungi:
1. Lichens and
2. Mycorrhizae

Lichens:

They are symbiotic association found among fungi and algae. The alga is generally a green alga or blue green alga. Fungus is a basidiomycete or ascomycete. It is believed that the alga shares organic food from photosynthesis and the fungus is capable to absorb water and mineral salts. The fungus can too conserve water and this enables certain lichens to grow in extreme dry circumstances where no other plants can live.

Mycorrhizae:

These are symbiotic associations among roots of higher plants and fungus partner. Most of the land plants enter into this type of relationship with soil fungi. The fungus might form a sheath around the center of the root (that is, an ectotrophic mycorrhiza) or might penetrate the host tissue (that is, an endotrophic mycorrhiza).

The former kind is found in most of the forest trees like conifers, beech and oak and includes the fungi of the division basidiomycetes. The fungus obtains carbohydrates and vitamins from the tree and in return break down proteins of the soil humus into amino acids that can be absorbed and employed by the plant. In addition the fungus gives a big surface area for absorption of ions like phosphates.

 

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