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Most plants will form some kind of symbiotic relationship, with fungi, bacteria, and even insects – an example of the latter being patrolling ants housed in specialist organs. Some of these relationships (as with the ants) afford plants increased protection versus herbivores, whilst others help plants tolerate stressful environments; both invaluable, given the impact of climate change on our environment, and the need to feed an increasing population. However, symbionts can also provide significant nutritional benefits, most notably, nitrogen-fixing bacteria housed in the root nodules of specific plants. Understanding what underlies this compatibility could reduce the need for nitrogen fertilisers.
This Collection invites original research on plants and their symbionts, from the mechanisms of these association, to how these relationships may contribute towards sustainable agriculture.