"The versatility of fungi allows them to associate with plants in many ways. When nteracting with a live organism, a fungus will invadeits plant host and manipulate its metabolisms either detrimentallyor beneficially, depending on whether the fungus is a pathogen ora symbiote. Many crop diseases originate from fungal pathogenattacks targeting above and belowground plant organs, which causemassive yield losses. The majority of tree species develop symbioticrelationships with Arbuscular Mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, widening theirroot network, thus enhancing nutrient absorption and growth. Thesebeneficial soil fungi are also present in agricultural crops, increasingtolerance against unfavourable biotic or abiotic conditions therebypositively impacting yields. When growing off dead plant tissue, fungicontribute to the general carbon cycling. Saprophytic fungi such as thewhite-rot basidiomycetes use lignocellulosic compounds for their owndevelopment as they are able to biochemically break it down.
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Last date updated on July, 2014