Claim: Fungus Can Help Plants Tolerate Heat

Watts Up With That?

This is a photograph of Morning Glory Pool from Aug. 23, 2012. Credit Joseph Shaw, Montana State University This is a photograph of Morning Glory Pool from Aug. 23, 2012.
Credit
Joseph Shaw, Montana State University

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Scientists studying mechanisms by which plants growing in hot geothermal soils like Yellowstone National Park tolerate extreme heat, claim they have discovered symbiotic fungi which impart significant heat tolerance to a wide range of plants.

According to Grist;

… But there’s a lesser-known type of fungus that actually grows inside the bodies of most, if not all, plants, inhabiting the empty spaces between cells. Fungi that do this are known as endophytes, and they’re what Rodriguez and Redman found were the key to those plants surviving in Yellowstone.

Alone, neither the fungus nor the plants could survive temperatures higher than about 100 degrees F. But with their powers combined, they could somehow tolerate the extreme heat of geothermal soils. What’s more, the plants infected with these…

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