Articles about plant health and about the symbiosis of fungi and plants


Bionieuws, the bi-weekly news magazine for biologists from the Dutch Institute for Biology (NIBI), about plant health and about fungal networks and how they trade with plants.  

In the issue of 28 November 2020, Bionieuws featured an article about the influence of silent plant epidemics. Plant diseases spread faster due to globalization and increased mobility, with enormous impacts on the food supply for millions of people. Arabidopsis, thé model plant for fundamental plant research, is often used to investigate the threats and potential positive effects of micro-organisms to plants. Which impact the microbes in the rhizosphere have in stimulating the plant immune system still needs to be investigated further, as, among others, Corné Pieterse explains in the article.

Read the full article here: Gert van Maanen: ‘Geluidloze plantaardige pandemieën’ on

The close relation between plants and mycorrhiza fungi is the topic of an article by Gert van Maanen in the issue of 13 February 2021. The symbiosis not only gives sugars to the fungi and water and substances like nitrogen or phosphor to the plant. They trade with each other, and both parties try to maximize their profit with different strategies.  

Earlier, Toby Kiers talked about the technique that was developed in collaboration with the Amolf institute in Amsterdam on Bionieuws (Bionieuws, 15 Juni 2019). This technique allows to visualize the trade of nutrients between plants and fungi in real time. How plants and fungal networks react to nutrient deficiency or other problems is part of the research of Toby Kiers.

Gert van Maanen: ‘Kwantumdots maken ondergrondse handel zichtbaar’ on