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Ectomycorrhizal fungi allow their host plants access to organic forms of N through enzymatic mineralization of the substrate and enhanced absorption of amino acids and mineral N. The cost to the plant is carbohydrates that support fungal growth and metabolism. Enrichment of soils with mineral N, as through atmospheric deposition, may affect the growth and function of these fungi by direct effects
Difficulty: High school
Pentachlorophenol-contaminated soil was amended with a strain of Pseudomonas capable of biodegradation of the pollutant. After bioremediation was complete, soil was tested for indicators of ecological condition. Several direct-toxicity measures (plant seed germination and root elongation, earthworm survival) showed the bioremediated soil to be indistinguishable from clean reference soil.
Difficulty: High school
Fungi have evolved to use a lot of different items for food. Some are decomposers living on dead organic material like leaves. Some fungi cause diseases by using living organisms for food. These fungi infect plants, animals and even other fungi. Athlete’s foot and ringworm are two fungal diseases in humans. The mycorrhizal fungi live as partners with plants. They provide mineral nutrients to the p
Difficulty: Elementary school
The plant-like appearance of lichens hides their true identity. A lichen is not a single organism, but the result of a partnership (mutualistic symbiosis) between a fungus and an alga or cyanobacteria. Some lichens are formed of three or more partners. The body of a lichen consists of fungal filaments (hyphae) surrounding cells of green algae and/or blue-green cyanobacteria. The basis of the mutua
Difficulty: High school
Antibiotics are chemicals, effective at very low concentrations, created as part of the life process of one organism, which can kill or stop the growth of a disease-causing microbe--a germ. In 1929, Alexander Fleming, a doctor and researcher at St. Mary's Hospital in London, England, published a paper on a chemical he called "penicillin", which he had isolated from from a mold, Penicillium notatu
Difficulty: Middle school
We established a 13-week greenhouse experiment based on replicated microcosms to test whether the effects of defoliation on grassland plants and soil organisms depend on plant species composition and the presence of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. The experiment constituted of three treatment factors - plant species composition, inoculation of an AM fungus and defoliation - in a fully factorial
Difficulty: High school
It has been recently discussed that the bioavailability of soil bound contaminants was consistently identified as a fundamental limitation in enhancing rates of contaminant biodegradation in soils. One of the strategies for enhancing desorption rates and subsequent biodegradation rates of nonpolar contaminants in soils is the use of surfactants.
Difficulty: High school
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