Plant-Fungus Interactions

Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semester 2

Typically offered in

Spring semester

Course description


1. Types of interactions between plants and fungi (Trophic interaction, symbiosis, mutualism,antibiosis, parasitism, coevolution) PARASITIC INTERACTIONS

2. The physiological fundament of necrotrophism (The process of necrotrophic nutrition, role of fungal enzymes, reactions of plant organism, metabolic processes of the fungi, the most important phytophageous and xylophageous fungal groups)

2. Establishment and regulation of biotrophic plant-fungus interactions (Types of biotrophic relationships (parasitism, mycorrhiza formation), physiology of biotrophy from the point of view of the fungus and the plant, iniciation and signals of starting the interaction, genetical regulation of the process)

4. Fungal infection and plant disease (Conditions of diseases, resistance, formation of interface, general and specific protective answers in plants, hypersensitive reaction)

5. Plant-, lichen- and mycoparasitic fungi (Forms of fungal parasitism, appressorium, intracellular structures, formation of haustoria, the most important parasitic groups of fungi)


6. Phylogenetics of biotrophic interactions (Evolution and change of coevolutionary relationships between fungi and procaryotes, algae, fungi, plants and animals during the history of life, the effect of biotrophy on fungi and its phylogenetical significance)

7. Symbioses between algae and fungi (lichens) (Symbioses between marine algae and fungi, lithoral lichens and true (terrestrial) lichens, organization, taxonomy, metabolism and ecology)

8. Mycothallic bryophytes and pteridophytes (The role of mycothalli in the evolution of terrestrial plants, fungal symbioses of hepatics and mosses, mycotrophic gametophyetes (Lycopodium, Isoetes and ferns)

9. Mycorrhizae I.. VA-mycorrhizae (Organization and physiological basis of VAM-formation, taxonomic position of the mycobiont, effests of VAM on host plant and the global importance of the relationship)

10. Mycorrhizae II. Ectomycorrhizae (Organization and physiological bases of ectomycorrhizal symbiosis, taxonomic position of the mycobiont and photobiont, effests of ectomycorrhiza on host plant and the global importance of the relationship)

11. Mycorrhizae III: Other typers of mycorrhiza (Morphological, taxonomical and physiological characterization of orchid, ericoid, arbutoid and monotropoid mycorrhizae and their ecological impact)

12. Endophytic fungi (Taxonomic position of endophytic fungi and their relationship with trees and herbs, coevolution with grasses, colonization of DSE fungi)


13. Parasitic fungi important in agriculture (Characterization of the most important plant pathogenic fungal groups, plant diseases, economical significance, the methods and possibilities of plant protection)

14. Application of artificial mycorrhizae (Establishing methods of artificial mycorrhizal connections, application of VAM inocula in agriculture and horticulture, application of ectomycorrhizae in forestry)

15. Application of fungi in environmental protection (Biological protection in agriculture using fungi (mycopesticides), environmental advances of applying artificial mycorrhizae (reducing fertilizers and fungicides, recultivation of soils polluted by heavy metals and wastes, nature conservation)

  • Smith SE, Read DJ (1997) Mycorrhizal symbiosis, 2nd edn. Academic Press, London

  • Darlene Southworth: Biocomplexity of Plant-Fungal Interactions, John Wiley & Sons, 2012