Fungal Friend for Rice

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Fungal friend for rice found, according to a report in ScienceNOW, 10 June 2010 and ScienceDaily 11 June 2010. The vast majority of plants have a symbiotic relationship with an Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus. The fungus helps the plant absorb nutrients, especially phosphates, from the soil in return for getting sugar from the plant. However, rice does not seem to have such a fungal helper and plant researchers have wondered if rice plants would grow better if a fungus could be found that would form a symbiotic relationship with them.
Ian Sanders, a plant pathologist, and his colleagues at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, have studied the genetics of a species of Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus named Glomus intraradices and after careful cultivation of individual fungal spores over several generations found some fungal spores that could form a mutually beneficial relationship with rice and enhance the growth of rice plants by up to five times. If this plant/fungus relationship can be transferred from the laboratory to the field, it could have an enormous impact on the yield of one of the world’s most important food crops.

ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment: The more we look at the living world, the more we are finding that symbiosis is the beneficial norm. This certainly fits with Genesis which tells us that God made fully functioning ecosystems which were very good, i.e. worked with maximum benefit for all living things within them. The world degenerated after man sinned and God cursed the ground, and again after the great Flood with its radically induced climate change, so as a result some mutually beneficial relationships have broken down. It seems most likely that rice lost its symbiotic help, and therefore, has not been growing to its full potential ever since. The fact that some fungal spores have been found that can form a mutually beneficial relationship with rice, is consistent with the thought that rice and fungi used to have symbiotic relationship but lost it due to genetic degeneration in the fungal spores or the rice plants, or both.

Evidence News 22 September 2010

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