A fascinating example of biological interactions counteracting one another, converting a blight into a boon: A fungus that normally dissolves plants from the inside turns docile when infected by a mycovirus carried by mushroom flies. It may even be used to promote play growth. doi.org/10.1016/j.molp.2020.08


I'm curious about how these relationships evolved. Fungi are prone to symbiosis with species other families, like algae. A virus that neutralizes the deleterious effects of a fungus for some third party could suggest an evolved three-part symbiosis, with benefit accruing to all three, only if all three are present. Is it possible that it was previously a two-part, fungus–plant relationship, but that the fungus outsourced one of its functions to a virus that was common in its originating niche?

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