The Network Beneath Us: On the Discovery of Mycorrhizae and How They Shaped Our World

When plants made their foray onto land 460 million years ago, they weren’t alone; along with them evolved a new type of fungi, without which the first plants would likely not have survived. Fast forward to the present, and those same fungi now inhabit the roots of 80-90% of modern vascular land plants, offering nutrients in exchange for carbohydrates, with groups ranging from coveted truffles to species with newly discovered symbioses in the Mucoromycotina, previously thought to be only parasitic or saprophytic.