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Mychorrhizal Fungi

Cooperation and trade are common in the natural world. Based on the cost of production and the constraints presented by the environment, an organism may be more successful by trading for a product than producing it. In this situation the organism may specialize in one product and trade for another. In this assignment we will examine an example of trading partners, mycorrhizal fungi and plants, and compare it to the principles of international trade, an important component of macroeconomics. After you view this tutorial, consider some of the principles it introduced and how they apply to specialization and trade between the symbiotic partners that make up a mycorrhizal association.

Scientists believe that this symbiosis may have been key to plants' success on land. Begin your introduction to this symbiosis at the Compost Gardener, and be sure to view their video. Next, proceed to this site maintained by the University of Western Australia, School of Plant Biology: http://mycorrhizas.info/vam.html to complete your research and locate important images for your assignment.
Using the resources provided above, develop a PowerPoint presentation that includes the following:

Slides 1-3
Compose a brief overview of the structure and function of plant roots. Include definitions and images of these terms: epidermis, exodermis, cortex, endodermis, and root hairs. You can refer to the following resource:
Roots: http://mycorrhizas.info/root.html

Slides 4-10
Provide an explanation of the symbiosis between mycorrhizal fungi and plant roots. Include definitions and explanation of the differences between Arbuscular mycorrhiza and Ectomycorrhizal fungi using the following images:
Mycorrhizal fungi pdf 1
Mycorrhizal fungi pdf 2
Ectomycorrhizal fungi pdf EMF 1
And the websites: http://mycorrhizas.info/vam.html
http://www.the-compost-gardener.com/plant-fungi.html

Slides 11-15
Discussion of the costs and benefits associated with this trade arrangement using the following resources:
Terms of Trade.ppt
Walder, F., Niemann, H., Natarajan, M., Lehmann, M. F., Boller, T. & Wiemken, A. Mycorrhizal Networks: Common Goods of Plants Shared under Unequal Terms of Trade. Plant Physiology. 2012. 159:789-797. Accessed on August 8, 2014, at http://www.plantphysiol.org/content/159/2/789.full

Slide 16
Now view information by Green Economy (youtube) about a company that markets this symbiosis. Read more about mycorrhizae and Mycorrhizal Applications, Inc. at their website http://mycorrhizae.com/.
•How can the trade between these organisms benefit our economy and land use?

Slide 17—References

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Solution Summary

A Powerpoint presentation with 17 slides is provided.

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