A touching story: Ancient conversation between plants, fungi and bacteria

27 agosto 2014

The mechanical force that a single fungal cell or bacterial colony exerts on a plant cell may seem vanishingly small, but it plays a heavy role in setting up some of the most fundamental symbiotic relationships in biology, according to a new study. It’s known that disease-causing fungi build a structure to break through the plant cell wall, «but there is growing evidence that fungi and also bacteria in symbiotic associations use a mechanical stimulation to indicate their presence,» says one researcher. «They are knocking on the door, but not breaking it down.»