The Hyphae Highway – Bacteria Taxis

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Combining fungi with bacteria helps the bacteria travel further in the soil.

If you’ve ever started paying close attention to soils and soil organisms, you soon have a realization of how small these organisms are and how vast the soil is compared to their size. Think about a squirrel in a tree. The forest is vast but the trees are many feet apart. The squirrel wants to go from tree to tree because of the foxes on the ground that want to eat the squirrel. As long as the trees are too far apart and the squirrel can’t run on the ground, it can’t move from it’s tree. It’s trapped.

Here come the ropes! Now think about a vine that grows up the tree and can extend its vines from tree canopy to tree canopy connecting the branches. Now the squirrel can run on the vines from tree to tree and never touch the ground. Oh, and the forest is the size of the Amazon.

That’s what fungal hyphae do.

Fungal hyphae are like the roots of the fungus. However, they are NOT ROOTS. In fact the hyphae are the fungus. Fungus are a web of these ‘strands’. That’s it. The mushroom is the fruit only. 

So how do these fungal ‘strands’ help bacteria?

They connect the dots. Soil particles look small to us but to a bacteria they can be as large as a building. Bacteria can’t move through the air. They need moisture to swim around and colonize other parts of the soil or another root. If soil particles are too far apart, there will be an air pocket between them and the bacteria can’t move around. The fungus is the connection through the air pockets. They’re coated in a liquid film that acts as a highway allowing the movement and migration further and further into the soil.

That’s why all our products have Trichoderma fungus. In addition to the fact that Trichoderma can fix nitrogen from the air for plants to grow, it can prevent some plant diseases. A good biological soil amendment must have a spectrum of organisms  to be truly effective. Nature uses many different organisms to complete the soil food web, so should you.