Fungi in the soil of plants
In biology, the term Fungi (Latin plural of fungus, lit. “fungi”) is used to designate a taxon or group of eukaryotic organisms including molds, yeasts and mushroom-producing organisms.
They are classified in a kingdom distinct from plants, animals and protists. They differ from plants in that they are heterotrophic; and from animals in that they possess cell walls, like plants, composed of chitin rather than cellulose. It is the kingdom of nature that is phylogenetically closest to animals (Animalia). Fungi.
Fungi occur in two main forms: filamentous fungi (formerly called “molds”) and yeast-like fungi. The body of a filamentous fungus has two portions, a reproductive and a vegetative one. The vegetative part, which is haploid and usually has no coloration, is composed of filaments called hyphae (usually microscopic); a set of hyphae forms the mycelium (usually visible). Often the hyphae are divided by septa called septa.
Types of fungi in plants
Mycorrhizae, the essential ally for plant healthSoil is not something inert, but the organisms that live in it make its natural fertility possible. The microorganisms that inhabit the soil interact with each other (association, predation, competition, etc.) and balance the environment.
Fungi are dependent beings that do not have chlorophyll, so they obtain their energy through the decomposition of the organic matter of the substrate in which they develop. These fungi can be classified as:
Of all the symbiotic relationships in the soil, mycorrhizal fungi maintain a strict dependence with the plant: they establish a mutual association between the roots of which both species make use. These are mycorrhizal fungi.
Mycorrhizal symbiosis is a mutually beneficial relationship in which an exchange of nutrients and water for carbon is established between the mycorrhizal fungus and the young cells of the roots of most plants of agronomic interest.
Plants and fungi differences
Fungi are present in any garden and given their characteristics they are able to go through different phases while waiting for their opportunity, that is, the right conditions to attack the plants.
The symptoms are more or less circular, powdery and whitish spots, which when the disease progresses, the spots unite, covering larger areas of the plants they are attacking, and may extend to stems, branches or fruits.
It generates soft rot, called gray rot, with the affected organs wilting first, appearing limp and yellowish or pale green, and if we look in detail we can see necrotic vessels at the bases of leaves and stems.
Affected trees are weakened by losing leaves “when it is not their turn” and by the death of young shoots, leaving them susceptible to attack by other agents, such as powdery mildew and banana tiger.
To make a treatment, there are no known effective chemical products for spraying, however, Endotherapy treatments do work (See video advice on Endotherapy in trees).
Fungi on plants
Once the cyanobacteria proliferated throughout the earth and were able to photosynthesize, they changed the composition of the atmosphere, transforming toxic elements for one where oxygen abounds. Later, with an atmosphere more friendly to life, plants emerged, which totally transformed the earth’s landscape. However, microorganisms continued to colonize different ecosystems. There is even a theory that speaks of endosymbiosis, which proposes that cyanobacteria and other non-photosynthesizing bacteria gave rise to organelles that form part of plant cells, namely chloroplasts and mitochondria. Chloroplasts are the organelles where photosynthesis takes place, while mitochondria produce energy.