Ectomycorrhizal beech trees
Diagram of mycorrhiza with terms in Spanish. It is an endomycorrhiza: the arbuscules or vesicles are inside the plant cell wall, and attached to the cell membrane.
Wheat is a mycorrhizal plant

A mycorrhiza (Greek for fungus roots) is a symbiotic association between a fungus and the roots of a plant.[1][2]

In a mycorrhiza, the fungus lives inside the plant roots, and in the earth. The fungal hyphae are more efficient than plant roots at absorbing nutrients.[3]

Mycorrhizas are important for plant growth in many ecosystems. At least 80% of all land plant species (and over 90% of families) have mycorrhiza.[4][5] They depend on it for survival.[3] They are the most common symbionts in the plant kingdom: they involve about 6000 species of fungi and 240,000 species of plants.[5]

Mycorrhizas are divided onto two main types: ectomycorrhiza and endomycorrhiza. The hyphae of ectomycorrhizal fungi do not penetrate individual cells within the root, while the hyphae of endomycorrhizal fungi penetrate the cell wall and invaginate[6] the cell membrane.

The mycorrhizal symbiosis is ancient, dating to at least 400 million years ago.[7]

How it works

This mutualism gives the fungus sugars, such as glucose and sucrose produced by the plant in photosynthesis.[8] The carbohydrates move from their source (usually leaves) to the root and then to the fungal partner. In return, the plant gains the use of the mycelium's very large surface area to absorb water and mineral nutrients from the soil, especially phosphorus.[9]

The mechanisms of increased absorption are both physical and chemical. Mycorrhizal mycelia are much smaller in diameter than the smallest root. They can explore a greater volume of soil, providing a larger surface area for absorption: "It is estimated that every kilogram of soil contains at least 200 km of fungi strands".[10][11]

Other Languages
العربية: جذريات فطرية
azərbaycanca: Mikoriza
беларуская: Мікарыза
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Мікарыза
български: Микориза
bosanski: Mikoriza
català: Micorriza
čeština: Mykorhiza
dansk: Mykorrhiza
Deutsch: Mykorrhiza
eesti: Mükoriisa
Ελληνικά: Μυκόρριζα
English: Mycorrhiza
español: Micorriza
Esperanto: Mikorizo
euskara: Mikorriza
فارسی: مایکوریزا
français: Mycorhize
Gaeilge: Míciríosa
galego: Micorriza
한국어: 균근
Հայերեն: Միկոռիզ
hrvatski: Mikoriza
Bahasa Indonesia: Mikoriza
íslenska: Svepprót
italiano: Micorriza
עברית: מיקוריזה
Кыргызча: Микориза
Latina: Mycorrhiza
latviešu: Mikoriza
lietuvių: Mikorizė
magyar: Mikorrhiza
മലയാളം: മൈക്കോറൈസ
Bahasa Melayu: Mikroriza
монгол: Микориза
Nederlands: Mycorrhiza
日本語: 菌根
norsk: Mykorrhiza
norsk nynorsk: Mykorrhiza
پنجابی: مائکوریزا
polski: Mikoryza
português: Micorriza
română: Micoriză
Runa Simi: K'allampa saphi
русский: Микориза
Scots: Mycorrhiza
slovenčina: Mykoríza
slovenščina: Mikoriza
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Mikoriza
suomi: Sienijuuri
svenska: Mykorrhiza
Türkçe: Mikoriza
українська: Мікориза
Tiếng Việt: Nấm rễ cộng sinh
中文: 菌根