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Nicole Hynson, Associate Professor, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, at the Pacific Biosciences Research Center, talks about the interesting symbiotic relationships that exist between fungi and plants.

Hynson runs the Hynson Lab for Community Ecology in the Department of Botany at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa where her team studies the complex, interesting ecology of plant and fungal communities. The devoted scientists within her laboratory group come from many diverse areas of scientific studies, such as ecology, evolution, physiology and computational biology as well.

Her lab is focused on the sometimes complex interactions fungi can have with certain organisms, such as plants. Hynson discusses the important function of fungi in their symbiotic relationship with plants. She explains how fungi have the capacity to assist plants to transition out of water growth to soil growth, and how the plants, in turn, help supply the fungi with vital carbon they need to complete their proper lifecycle. Hynson provides an overview of microbial symbiosis and the interactions that may exist between bacteria, fungi, plants, etc.

Hynson seeks to untangle these complex symbiotic interactions, and hopefully utilize microorganisms, specifically fungi, for the advancement of important restoration and conservation practices, to increase crop yield and sustain valuable resources, and ultimately limit the need for fertilizers overall.

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