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Ericoid mycorrhiza

    Ericoid mycorrhiza are a symbiotic relationship between fungi and the roots of plants from the order Ericales. Ericoid mycorrhiza are considered crucial for the success of the family Ericaceae in variety of edaphically stressful environments worldwide (Read, 1992). Ericaceous plants commonly co-occur in soils with leguminous or carnivorous plants (Read, 1996), further highlighting the low nutrient status of these soils. Ericoid mycorrhizal fungi, which are predominately ascomycetes, enable their host plant to obtain nutrients in these depauperate soils.

Many of the fungi which form ericoid mycorrhizas are from the ascomycete order Helotiales. The best studied of these fungi is Rhizoscyphus ericae (=Hymenoscyphus ericae). R. ericae commonly occurs in symbiosis with a variety of ericaceous species from the northern hemisphere, but is not routinely found associated with Ericaceae (ex Epacridaceae) in the southern hemisphere (Cairney and Ashford, 2002).


  • Cairney, JWG & Ashford, AE 2002. Biology of mycorrhizal associations of epacrids (Ericaceae). New Phytologist 154: 305-326.
  • Midgley, DJ, Chambers, SM & Cairney, JWG. 2002. Spatial distribution of fungal endophyte genotypes in a Woollsia pungens (Ericaceae) root system. Australian Journal of Botany 50, 559-565.
  • Read, DJ. 1992. The mycorrhizal mycelium. In: Mycorrhizal functioning: An integrative plant-fungal process. Allen MF (ed). pp 102-133, Chapman and Hall, New York.
  • Read, DJ 1996. The Structure and Function of the Ericoid Mycorrhizal Root. Annals of Botany 77: 365-374.


This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ericoid_mycorrhiza". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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