Tiny Parasitic Fungi Protect Host Tree from Disease: Study

white pine blisterust

Good news for the conservationists who are concerned with widespread attack of several species of white pines by blister rust! You can save them now. A fungus will be your solution. Yes, a fungus. But, parasitic fungi are someway or the other harmful for plants and animals! Challenging this unpermissive thought, scientists have proved the contribution of the fungi towards the host, the other way round. New research suggests that communities of microscopic fungi that live inside trees might help protect their hosts from disease and predators. These fungi, called endophytes, are found throughout various types of plants from the roots to the leaves. They are found to live in community. Different types of this species are found can live together in a single plant. Trees that host diverse communities of endophytes are more resistant to diseases than forests with fewer endophytes. One of such disease is the blister rust. This finding can be a solution to trees attacked with blister rust, as it has caused widespread deaths in several species of white pine, an important family of trees in the Pacific Northwest U.S.

Via: National Geographic News

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