Anaerobic Fungi...

Thomas O'Dell todell at
Thu Mar 21 14:19:12 EST 1996

The best candidate for plants parasitizing fungi are the Mycoheterotrophic
plants  such as the Monotropoideae (Monotropa and allies, achlorophyllous
Ericaceae; aka the indian pipes), some orchids may also rely on fungi as
the sole source of carbon and mineral nutrients. Until there is
demonstrable evidence of benefit to fungus, the relationship is best
described as parasitism. See J. Leake's recent (1994?) review in the New
Phytologist for a thorough discussion.
The obligate anerobic fungi all live in the guts of herbivores and seem
unlikely candidates for consumption...

On 21 Mar 1996, David Brayford , IMI wrote:

> Plants parasitic upon fungi?
> It depends how you define 'parasitism' and 'plants'.  The obvious examples
> are mycorrhizal relationships and the lichenised ascomycetes with algal
> partners.  These might be interpreted as mutualistic symbioses rather than
> parasitism, but the 'plant' clearly benefits from the fungus, which is kinda
> what you were asking.  Then, of course, there is the whole topic of
> endophytic fungi, which might help protect the plant from other parasites.
> DaveB
>  ----------
> To: mycology
> Subject: Anaerobic Fungi...
> Date: 20 March 1996 5:42
> Much to my surprise, I recently read about the existence of fungi
> which are obligate anaerobes. This has set me to wondering; Do
> these fungi ever produce fruiting bodies or are they strictly
> asexual?  Are they edible? Are they (like the leaf-cutter fungus)
> the next, as of yet, undiscovered delicacy, waiting to be prized
> by gourmets worldwide? Curious....?  Oh, also, there are many
> cases of fungi parasitizing plants, but does the opposite ever
> occur? Is there a parasitic plant that exists off of fungi?
> I know that insectivorous plants utilize the chitin of insects as a
> nitrogen source, and that's why I began wondering if any plants
> utilize fungal chitin in a similar manner. Any thoughts?......

todell at
"when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro"
H.S. Thompson

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