Connecting polyphosphate translocation and hyphal water transport points to a key of mycorrhizal functioning.
Plants, as autotrophic organisms, solely depend on light and CO2 entering the plant via the leaves, and on water and mineral nutrientstaken up by the roots. Exploring the soil for resources is a challenge because roots are permanently confronted with depletion as the uptake of some mineral nutrients is faster than diffusion through soil. Agriculture circumvents this problem by permanently applying a surplus of water and mineral nutrients, with the well-known negative effects on the environment. Plants, however, also survived in natural ecosystems without human help by deve loping different strategies to cope with nutrient scarcity, e.g. the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis which was already present during
the Ordovician (Redecker et al., 2000). Today, many plants are still mycorrhizal and fungal hyphae bridge the depletion zones around their roots. Mycorrhizal hyphae enormously enlarge the soil volume which is explored for obtaining mineral nutrients and water for their own use and for the beneﬁt of the plant partner. Transport of water and mineral nutrients along fungal hyph ae is, therefore, an essential feature of mycorrhiza and an important topic of plant Research.
Bitterlich, M.; Franken, P. 2016. Connecting polyphosphate translocation and hyphal water transport points to a key of mycorrhizal functioning. The New Phytologist 211, 1147–1149.