University of Cambridge > > Plant Sciences Departmental Seminars > Advantages of travelling by tube - explorations of fungal networks

Advantages of travelling by tube - explorations of fungal networks

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Abstract The majority of fungi spend the majority of their lives as mycelia – a system of interconnecting tubes. Mycelia of some saprotrophic wood decay basidiomycetes form extensive, long-lived systems, ramifying through forest floor soil and litter. They are effective dispersal structures, and operate foraging strategies enabling capture of resources patchily and sparsely distributed in space and time. Their main resource capture strategies are: (1) ‘sit and wait’, whereby a large mycelial network waits for resources to land on it; (2) ‘seek and find’ where the mycelium grows out of a resource in active search for new resources; and (3) most commonly both (1) and (2) simultaneously. Mycelial networks respond dramatically to encounter with new resources, and are remodelled continuously. Their success lies in this ability to remodel, and in their network architecture, both of which vary between species and environmental conditions. This talk will take you on a journey through soil, introducing you to the dramatic ways in which saprotrophic cord-forming basidiomycetes respond to new resources and to interactions with the abiotic and biotic environment, by remodeling mycelial architecture and taking up and translocating nutrients.

This talk is part of the Plant Sciences Departmental Seminars series.

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