Image of the Day: Network Demand
Image of the Day: Network Demand

Image of the Day: Network Demand

Symbiotic fungi can adjust where they transport nutrients to plant roots based on where they are needed.

Jun 7, 2019
Chia-Yi Hou

ABOVE: Mycorrhizal fungi’s hyphal network stained in purple
WHITESIDE ET AL.

In a study published yesterday (June 6) in Current Biology, scientists tracked the movement of phosphorous particles between fungi and plant roots in a symbiotic relationship. The researchers set up petri dishes with three sections: one with few nutrients, one with plentiful nutrients, and one where the plant roots grew. The fungi were able to grow through all three sections and moved nutrients to where demand from the plant was higher, according to the report.

M.D. Whiteside et al., “Mycorrhizal fungi respond to resource inequality by moving phosphorus from rich to poor patches across networks,” Current Biology, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2019.04.061, 2019.

Particles moving through a fungal network
WHITESIDE ET AL.