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what where they reading our messages?!!?

Interesting item showed up in my inbox based on our recent discussion...
well it ties into it anyways, so thought I would share it with you. See

On another note, before you get interested in the story, my pea green pond
turned perfectly clear today. You can see to the bottom perfectly! And no
chemicals or additives (other than my plants) have been added. Totally
surprised my DH who for the last week has been harping that I need to do
something with this pond.... I did, I waited! :)  But Vera was right, a good
percentage of my bottom muck is just the wind dumping 'stuff' into the pond.
I can see it settling on the bottom and rocks. Hum....no turned over plants,
no fish, gotta be like she said....


Knowledge of Nitrogen Transfer between Plants and Beneficial Fungi 

ARS News Service
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
Jim Core, (301) 504-1619, jcore@ars.usda.gov
June 9, 2005

New findings show that a beneficial soil fungus plays a large role in 
nitrogen uptake and utilization in most plants.

In the current issue of the journal Nature, Agricultural Research 
Service (ARS) chemist Philip E. Pfeffer and cooperators report that 
beneficial arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi transfer substantial 
amounts of nitrogen to their plant hosts. A lack of soil nitrogen often 
limits plant growth.

The studies were conducted by Pfeffer and David Douds at the ARS 
Eastern Regional Research Center, Wyndmoor, Pa.; Michigan State 
University scientists headed by Yair Shachar-Hill; and New Mexico State 
University scientists headed by Peter J. Lammers and including graduate 
student Manjula Govindarajulu.

AM is the most common type of symbiotic fungus that colonizes the roots 
of most crop plants.  The fungi receive glucose and possibly other 
organic materials from the plant, while enhancing the plant's ability 
to take up mineral nutrients, primarily phosphorus.

The scientists previously identified enzymes and genes involved in 
nitrogen absorption and breakdown in AM fungi, but very little was 
known about how nitrogen is moved from fungus to plant or in which form 
nitrogen moves within the fungus.

The researchers discovered a novel metabolic pathway in which inorganic 
nitrogen is taken up by the fungi and incorporated into an amino acid 
called arginine.  This amino acid remains in the fungus until it is 
broken down and transferred to the plant.

The results show that the symbiotic relationship between mycorrhizal 
fungi and plants may have a much more significant role in the worldwide 
nitrogen cycle than previously believed.  With this in mind, farmers 
may benefit from promoting the proliferation of mycorrhizal fungi 
through diminished fertilizer input, thereby making more efficient use 
of the nitrogen stores in agricultural soils.

  ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research 

* This is one of the news reports that ARS Information distributes to 
subscribers on weekdays.
* Start, stop or change an e-mail subscription at 
* NewsService@ars.usda.gov | www.ars.usda.gov/news
* Phone (301) 504-1638 | fax (301) 504-1486

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