Symbiosis: The Art of Living Together

Symbiosis: The Art of Living Together

There are five main symbiotic relationships: mutualism, commensalism, predation, parasitism, and competition.

Symbiosis is a term describing any relationship or interaction between two dissimilar organisms. The specific kind of symbiosis depends on whether either or both organisms benefit from the relationship.


Plants are the very foundations of life on the earth. Almost all the divisions of plant kingdom — namely bryophytes, pteridophytes, gymnosperms, and angiosperms — form a symbiotic relationship with bacteria, cyanobacteria, or actinomycetes. Symbiotic relationships in which both the species of the association benefit are mutualistic. Mutualistic relations between plants and fungi are recognized, as Mycorrhizae are quite common in nature. The fungus helps the host plant absorb inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus from the soil. Some mycorrhizal fungi also secrete antibiotics which may help protect their host from invasion by parasitic fungi and bacteria. One of the most important examples of mutualism in the overall economy of the biosphere is the symbiotic relationship between certain nitrogen-fixing bacteria and their legume hosts. This chapter deals with all the types of mutualistic symbiotic relationship formed in the plant kingdom.


Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Nitrogen Fixation Root Hair Mycorrhizal Fungus Arbuscular Mycorrhiza  These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.