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Gigaspora margarita in association with Lotus corniculatus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Glomeromycota
Subdivision: Glomeromycotina
C.Walker & A.Schuessler (2001)[2]
Class: Glomeromycetes
Caval.-Sm. (1998)[1]

Glomeromycota is a group of fungi that surround the roots of trees and plants. They are not as diverse as other groups of fungi but are one of the most common and widespread fungi.[3] Around 250 members of the glomeromycota class have been identified. They are found in association with roots of most plant species in almost every land ecosystem. They have even been found in Antarctica.[4]

Glomeromycota and plants benefit each other: they need each other to stay alive. Plants give the fungi carbohydrates and energy, and the fungi give the plants with essential minerals from the soil.[5] Nearly all glomeromycota produce structures called arbuscules. These are a long branching structure that goes into the roots of plants and allow substances to be passed to and fro between the plant and the fungus.[3]

Glomeromycota are associated with some of the most sold and eaten crop plants. Glomeromycota can have positive and negative effects on plants. They can increase plant growth and can also transport essential nitrogen products to plant roots which is important for protein production in plants.[4] However, they can have negative effects on non-host plants. They can help the growth and spread of invasive species taking important resources and soil space from other plants.[4]

Glomeromycota reproduce through the formation of spores. Fungal spores are tiny particles that allow fungi to reproduce, they are similar to a seed of plants. Glomeromycota have large spores for fungi, between 40 µm to 800 µm, some can be seen with the naked human eye.[6] Glomeromycota spores have thick cell walls with many members having multiple cell walls. When in the correct conditions, spores grow into a small branch and find a host's roots to live.[6]

References[change | change source]

  1. Cavalier-Smith, T. (1998). "A revised six-kingdom system of Life". Biol. Rev. Camb. Philos. Soc. 73 (3): 203–266. doi:10.1017/s0006323198005167. PMID 9809012. (as "Glomomycetes")
  2. Schüßler, A.; et al. (December 2001). "A new fungal phylum, the Glomeromycota: phylogeny and evolution". Mycol. Res. 105 (12): 1413–1421. doi:10.1017/S0953756201005196.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Glomeromycota". New Brunswick Museum Mycology Web pages. 2022-07-22. Retrieved 2022-07-22.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Taylor, Thomas N.; Krings, Michael; Taylor, Edith L. (2015), "Glomeromycota", Fossil Fungi, Elsevier, pp. 103–128, doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-387731-4.00007-4, ISBN 978-0-12-387731-4, retrieved 2022-07-22
  5. "8.17F: Glomeromycota". Biology Libre Texts. Jan 3, 2021.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Roehl, Thomas (June 2, 2017). "#015: Characteristics of Division Glomeromycota". Fungus Fact Friday.