Fungi Symbiosis :
Two important types of symbiotic union are made by fungi.
1. Lichens and 2. Mycorrhizae.
They are symbiotic association found between algae and fungi. The alga is usually a green alga or blue green alga. The fungus is an ascomycete or basidiomycete. It is believed that the alga contributes organic food from photosynthesis and the fungus is able to absorb water and mineral salts. The fungus can also conserve water and this enables some lichens to grow in extreme dry conditions where no other plants can exist.
These are symbiotic associations between a fungus partner and roots of higher plants. Most land plants enter into this kind of relationship with soil fungi. The fungus may form a sheath around the center of the root (an ectotrophic mycorrhiza) or may penetrate the host tissue (an endotrophic mycorrhiza). The former type is found in many forest trees such as conifers,beech and oak and involve the fungi of the division basidiomycetes. The fungus receives carbohydrates and vitamins from the tree and in return breaks down proteins of the soil humus to amino acids which can be absorbed and utilized by the plant. In addition the fungus provides a greater surface area for absorption of ions such as phosphates.
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