33 min

Fungi – the Kingdom of Mushrooms, Spores, and Networks Life in the Soil

    • Science

Hundreds of millions of years ago, plants started to colonize the land. But amazingly, they did this without roots. So how on Earth did these early plants feed themselves? It looks like they found some helpful friends: A group of fungi provided them with nutrients from the ground, fossils suggest. Today, the vast majority of plants team up with these so-called mycorrhizal fungi, which live in their roots. In return for nutrients, the plant provides the fungi with carbon in the form of sugar and fats. It’s an age-old symbiosis, and one that continues to fascinate soil scientists. How does the plant-fungi relationship work? Is it love or just a deal? In this episode, Anja learns more from Katie Field, Toby Kiers, Bala Chaudhary and podcast co-producer Matthias Rillig, and explores the world of fungi: How do they travel the world, and what would the world look like from a fungal perspective?

Subscribe and learn more on rilliglab.org/podcast/

Episode transcript: https://rilliglab.org/2020/12/17/life-in-the-soil-podcast-2-fungi/

CREDITS
Produced by: Anja Krieger and the Rillig Lab rilliglab.org
Funded by: Digging Deeper / BiodivERsA https://www.biodiversa.org/
Story consultants: Joana Bergmann, Milos Bielcik, Stefan Hempel, Tessa Camenzind, Moisés Sosa Hernández
Thanks for feedback: Mendel Skulski, Florian Hintz, Julie Comfort, Gerhard Richter, Lena Ehlers

Cover art: Maren von Stockhausen http://marenvonstockhausen.de
Music: Sunfish Moon Light / Future Ecologies https://www.futureecologies.net
Sounds: Freesound.org, CC-Zero

The Digging Deeper project was funded through the 2015-2016 BiodivERsA COFUND call for research proposals, with the national funders Swiss National Science Foundation, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Swedish Research Council Formas, Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad and Agence Nationale de la Recherche.

Hundreds of millions of years ago, plants started to colonize the land. But amazingly, they did this without roots. So how on Earth did these early plants feed themselves? It looks like they found some helpful friends: A group of fungi provided them with nutrients from the ground, fossils suggest. Today, the vast majority of plants team up with these so-called mycorrhizal fungi, which live in their roots. In return for nutrients, the plant provides the fungi with carbon in the form of sugar and fats. It’s an age-old symbiosis, and one that continues to fascinate soil scientists. How does the plant-fungi relationship work? Is it love or just a deal? In this episode, Anja learns more from Katie Field, Toby Kiers, Bala Chaudhary and podcast co-producer Matthias Rillig, and explores the world of fungi: How do they travel the world, and what would the world look like from a fungal perspective?

Subscribe and learn more on rilliglab.org/podcast/

Episode transcript: https://rilliglab.org/2020/12/17/life-in-the-soil-podcast-2-fungi/

CREDITS
Produced by: Anja Krieger and the Rillig Lab rilliglab.org
Funded by: Digging Deeper / BiodivERsA https://www.biodiversa.org/
Story consultants: Joana Bergmann, Milos Bielcik, Stefan Hempel, Tessa Camenzind, Moisés Sosa Hernández
Thanks for feedback: Mendel Skulski, Florian Hintz, Julie Comfort, Gerhard Richter, Lena Ehlers

Cover art: Maren von Stockhausen http://marenvonstockhausen.de
Music: Sunfish Moon Light / Future Ecologies https://www.futureecologies.net
Sounds: Freesound.org, CC-Zero

The Digging Deeper project was funded through the 2015-2016 BiodivERsA COFUND call for research proposals, with the national funders Swiss National Science Foundation, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Swedish Research Council Formas, Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad and Agence Nationale de la Recherche.

33 min

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