In today’s TED Talk, biologist Mohamed Hijri directs our attention to an incredible biotechnology — not one he invented, but one that’s been around for 450 million years. They are: mycorrhiza, microscopic mushrooms that grow in a symbiotic relationship with the roots of plants. These mushrooms are incredible at helping plants find phosphorous, an essential […]Continue reading
Why you should listen
Mohamed Hijri is a professor of biology and a researcher at the plant biology research institute (l'Institut de recherche en biologie végétale) at the Université de Montréal. His work focuses on the most common and widespread symbiotic relationship on earth -- between plant roots and a type of fungi found in the soil called arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). These fungi improve plant growth by increasing roots' ability to absorb phosphorus, while also boosting resistance to pathogens.
As Hijri points out in his talk, the study of AMF and a deeper understanding of them could have big implications for agriculture and could help divert us from an impending crisis -- that we are quickly running out of phosphorus.