Plant Roots &
Their Fungal Partners:
The underground view of plant communities
Living organisms within the soil decompose and recycle organic matter as they build good soil structure and promote growth of healthy plants. Of paramount importance in this living community are fungi that form a symbiotic relationship with plant roots. Via this symbiosis, called mycorrhiza, plant roots provide sugars to the fungi as the fungi transfer nutrients and water to the plant. In addition, the mycorrhizal fungi promote resistance to plant disease as they improve soil and plant quality. How to best garden with the mycorrhizae will also be presented, as will contributions the mycorrhizae make to plant community structure.
Speaker Bio: Paulette Royt earned a BS and MS degree in Biology from American University, and a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Maryland. After a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, Paulette joined the Biology Department of George Mason University where she taught numerous courses within microbiology and pursued research in pathogenic microbiology. Upon retiring from GMU, Paulette became a Master Gardener at Green Spring Gardens where she serves as a docent and speaker on many topics of horticulture.
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