Southeastern's Science on Tap presents lecture on hidden fungi
Monday, February 26, 2018
by: Tonya Lowentritt
HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University’s Instructor of Biological Sciences
Dr. Demetra Kandelepas will present the next Science on Tap presentation titled “Hidden
Fungi – Plants’ Secret to Success.”
Kandelepas will discuss the necessity of fungi to plants’ survival.
Sponsored by the Department of Biological Sciences, the presentation is scheduled March 6, at 7 p.m. at Tope La Catering, 113 East Thomas St. in Hammond, and is free and open to all ages. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with food and beverages available for purchase.
“About 90 percent of all plants depend on fungi for their survival and, not only do they take advantage of these fungi for themselves, but they also share them with family members, as well as plants of different species” she said. “Most plants are not able to acquire nearly enough water or nutrients to sustain themselves. Fungi happily provide both of these provisions and initiate chemical warfare on their hosts’ aggressors when they detect an attack.”
Kandelepas will further explain the complex relationship between fungi and plants.
“Fungi cannot photosynthesize and, therefore, cannot make their own food. Plants make vast quantities of sugar all day long and much of this sugar goes toward feeding their fungal partners,” she said. “The relationship between fungi and plants is obligate and ubiquitous, but also very complex. We know that the benefits derived from this symbiosis is mutual, but very little is still known about its dynamics.”
For information on this or future Science on Tap presentations, contact the Department of Biological Sciences at 985-549-3740.