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Mutualistic fungi can be grown independently of their hosts

A major barrier to the study of the ecology of obligate mutualistic fungi (termed mycorrhizae) has been that it has been impossible to grow such fungi by themselves in the absence of the plant. The discovery that these fungi are dependent on a simple plant compoud called myristate, a component of common cosmetics,has opened up many new directions for research. In this collaborative paper with the Dr. Matthias Rillig’s lab at the Free University, Berlin, Germany, new research directions and opportuniteis are presented.

Rillig, M. C., Aguilar-Trigueros, C. A., Anderson, I. C., Antonovics, J., et al. 2020. Myristate and the ecology of AM fungi: significance, opportunities, applications and challenges. New Phytologist 227:1610-1614.

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