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Plants and Fungi Play the 'Underground Market'

Plants and fungi co-operate and trade with each other on a biological 'underground market', changing their trading partners if they don't get a fair deal.

The finding was made by an international team, including Oxford University scientists, examining how plants trade energy-rich carbohydrate they make using photosynthesis for phosphorus fungi collect from the soil. They found that plants use their roots to actively search out fungi to trade with but will attempt to avoid 'cheating' fungi which 'hoard' phosphorus instead of paying their fair share in return for carbohydrate.

A report of the research is published in this week's Science.

Click "source" for entire article.

"Reciprocal Rewards Stabilize Cooperation in the Mycorrhizal Symbiosis." (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/333/6044/880)
 
 

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