Mycorhizza is a specific group of fungi. These fungi live in symbiosis with plant roots. The plant provides sugars to the fungus, and the fungus in turn supplies nutrients and water from the soil to the plant.
Each mycorrhizal fungus has a specific function. For example, some mycorrhizal fungi primarily take up inorganic nutrients, while other fungi take up organic nutrients. In addition, mycorrhizal fungi can contribute to the resistance of trees to soil borne pathogens, drought and heavy metals.
Mycorhizza make an important contribution to the resilience of crops.
There are three types of mycorhizza:
- Arbuscular mycorhizza – this is most common form of mycorhizza in agriculture and horticulture. The fungal filaments grow in the root, but do not penetrate the cell.
- Endomycorhizza – this mycorhizza is particularly common in orchids. The fungal filaments penetrate into the cells of the root.
- Ectomycorhizza – these mycorhizza occur on certain trees, such as pine and birch.