[ A fungal Engophyte (green) growing into plant cells –source]
Check this out! A new article came out in Science this week about the relationship between a plant, a fungus, and an insect. Sound like the beginning of a bad joke? Well for the insect it is!
This fungus doubles as an insect parasite as well as a plant endophyte. The scientists thought that the fugus might be able to kill nearby insects in order to capture nitrogen, a limited nutrient in soil, for itself and its plant host. Using labeled N, they were able to track nitrogen from the insect into the plant matter and confirm their hypothesis! Crazy stuff out there! 🙂