Episode Summary

Fungus living inside plants helps them form partnerships with nitrogen-fixing bacteria!

Microbe of the episode

Microbe of the episode: Prevotella intermedia

Jesse's takeaways

Plants are very good at acquiring carbon, but they can often use some help with other nutrients. Many form partnerships with microbes such as nitrogen-fixing bacteria or mycorrhizal fungi that can help gather nutrients from the soil better than the plants' own roots.

In this study, legume plants could form a partnership with nitrogen-fixing bacteria in its roots, but a fungus living inside the plant could enhance this partnership even more, increasing the amount of nitrogen acquired and influencing the community of microbes around the plant roots in ways favorable to all partners.

Journal Paper

Xie X-G, Zhang F-M, Yang T, Chen Y, Li X-G, Dai C-C. 2019. Endophytic Fungus Drives Nodulation and N2 Fixation Attributable to Specific Root Exudates. mBio 10:e00728-19, /mbio/10/4/mBio.00728-19.atom.

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