Stony Brook grad student Tiffany Victor uses infrared light to explore how fungal associations help plants thrive

Tiny strands of fungi weave through the roots of an estimated nine out of 10 plants on Earth, an underground symbiosis in which the plant gives the fungus pre-made sugars and the fungus sends the plant basic nutrients in return. Scientists are interested in enhancing this mechanism as a way to help plants grow on nutrient-poor lands. Their success could lead to increased production of plant-based biofuels without having to compete with food crops for fertile farmland.

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