Rafflesia plant and vine symbiotic relationship in humans

What is ths symbiotic relationship or rafflesia plant and vine

rafflesia plant and vine symbiotic relationship in humans

What Is The Symbiotic Relationship Between Rafflesia Plant And A Vine. 1 / 2 Humans and bacteria coexist in different types of symbiotic relationships. Rafflesia cantleyi, perhaps better known as the corpse flower for its Instead, they rely entirely upon their vine host, Tetrastigma rafflesiae, for survival. The corpse flower and its host have a very intimate relationship. What Is The Symbiotic Relationship Between Rafflesia Plant And A Vine > DOWNLOAD.

The parasites may be either holoparasites or hemiparasites. Holoparasites can't survive without their relationship with another plant their hostsince they get all of their food and nutrients from this plant. If the host dies, so does the parasite. Rafflesia and the dodder are holoparasites.

The term "hemiparasite" has two different meanings. It may refer to a parasite that gets some of its nutrients from its host but can also carry out photosynthesis the process by which non-parasitic plants make their own food. It may sometimes refer to a plant that can live as either a parasite or on its own, however. The mistletoe is a hemiparasite, since it needs materials from its host but also carries out its own photosynthesis.

Successful, ongoing parasitism is an easy way to make a living, since the parasite doesn't have to expend or absorb as much energy as would be expected in order to fulfill its needs.

rafflesia plant and vine symbiotic relationship in humans

If it did, it would no longer have the food, nutrients, or water that it requires. The host of a parasite is sometimes killed, however. It's an example of extreme parasitism. Rafflesia has no stems, leaves, or roots and lives inside the vines of another plant. Its body consists of filaments that spread through the vine, obtaining food from the host.

Rafflesia is classified as an endoparasite since it lives inside another plant. The only part of the parasite that is visible to the outside world is the flower. The flower first appears as an orange swelling or bud on the branch of a vine. This bud gradually enlarges. In Rafflesia arnoldii, the bud is about the size of a cabbage when it's mature. It opens up over a period of four days, producing a huge orange, pink, and red flower that may be more than three feet wide.

rafflesia plant and vine symbiotic relationship in humans

The flower has five tough, leathery petals covered with lighter colored bumps or warts. In the center of each flower is a deep pit which contains a disk of spines. The reproductive structures are located under this disk. Male and female Rafflesias are separate plants. The flower is not only large but very smelly.

rafflesia plant and vine symbiotic relationship in humans

In fact, the smell is often likened to that of decaying flesh and the flower is sometimes known as the corpse flower. The smell attracts carrion insects who normally feed on the dead bodies of animals. As the insects move from flower to flower they act as a pollination agent. The flowers exist for only a few days. After this time they begin to decompose and become black and slimy.

rafflesia plant and vine symbiotic relationship in humans

The central part of a Rafflesia pricei flower Source There are many species of Rafflesia. They all grow in rainforest vines belonging to the Tetrastigma genus. The largest flowers are around thirty-nine inches in diameter and weigh about fifteen pounds. Another Corpse Flower Although Rafflesia is often claimed to be the largest flower in the world, that honor is sometimes given to Amorphophallus titanum, or the titan arum, which is also known as the corpse flower due to the foul odor that it emits.

This plant is native to Sumatra and isn't parasitic. The titan arum may be close to ten feet tall. There are usually many years between each "flower" emergence, an event that is often exciting for viewers. Unlike Rafflesia, the titan arum produces a compound flower that contains many smaller flowers. The compound structure that viewers admire is technically known as an inflorescence, not a flower. Therefore Rafflesia really does deserve the honor of being the largest single flower on Earth.

The Titan Arum and its Odor Rafflesia Population Status At least some species of Rafflesia are thought to be endangered, although this is somewhat difficult to determine because most of the plant is hidden and the flowers exist for such a short period of time.

There are several reasons for the endangered status. Habitat destruction presents a major difficulty for Rafflesia, but another problem is the very specific requirements of the parasite's life cycle. The plant can only survive in certain species of vine; many flower buds fail to open; flowers live for only a few days; male and female flowers must be open at the same time; and the male and female flowers must be close enough for flies to transfer pollen from the male to the female.

They grow on the branches of many different types of host trees. Both true mistletoes genus Phoradendron and dwarf mistletoes genus Arceuthobium are found in North America. The European mistletoe Viscum albumanother true mistletoe, has been introduced to North America.

True mistletoes affect mainly deciduous trees, although some species grow on conifers. Dwarf mistletoes affect only conifers. A mistletoe plant inserts its haustoria through its host's bark to obtain water and minerals.

The mistletoe requires these nutrients in order to make its food. Its leaves contain chlorophyll and the plant produces its own food by photosynthesis instead of absorbing it from its host. True mistletoes living in North America have small, green leaves that are oval in shape and are thick and leathery.

They are evergreen plants. Mistletoe forms clumps which may be hanging or upright. The clump is sometimes known as a witch's broom.

Symbiotic Relationships-Definition and Examples-Mutualism,Commensalism,Parasitism

Some birds build their nests in witch's brooms. This European mistletoe attached to a silver birch tree has formed a witch's broom. Source The development of a witch's broom isn't always caused by mistletoe.

Other organisms and a hormonal problem in the tree can also cause the abnormal growth. Flowers and Berries Mistletoe plants are either male or female. The female plant's flowers are small and greenish yellow in color and the berries are usually white. They may have a yellow, orange or pink tinge, however, depending on the species. The berries have a sticky pulp which is important in the distribution of the seeds. When a bird eats the berries, the seeds pass undigested through its digestive tract, still inside their sticky covering.

They are released into a new area in the bird's droppings. If they land in a suitable spot on a tree they can germinate and send haustoria into their host. In Europe, the mistle thrush eats mistletoe berries as part of its diet, while in Australia the mistletoe bird does the same thing.

Mistletoe may or may not damage its host. A large host with only a few mistletoe clumps may not be significantly affected by the parasite, but a small host with lots of mistletoe clumps can be seriously weakened and may eventually die. Such exceptions, however, are rare indeed, and it can be said that in almost all cases the human is dominant.

Obligate and Facultative Relationships Most forms of mutualism are facultative, meaning that the partners can live apart successfully. Some relationships of mutualism are so close that the interacting species are unable to live without each other. A symbiotic relationship in which the partners, if separated, would be unable to continue living is known as an obligate relationship.

  • Parasitic plant

In commensalism or parasitism, the relationship is usually obligate for the commensal or the parasite, since by definition they depend on the host.

At the same time, and also by definition, the host is in a facultative relationship, since it does not need the commensal or parasite—indeed, in the case of the parasite, would be much better off without it. It is possible, however, for an organism to become so adjusted to the parasite attached to its body that the sudden removal of the parasite could cause at least a short-term shock to the system.

Inquilinism A special variety of commensalism is inquilinism, in which the commensal species makes use of the host's nest or habitat, without causing any inconvenience or detriment to the host. Inquilinism the beneficiary is known as an inquiline often occurs in an aquatic environment, though not always.

In your own yard, which is your habitat or nest, there may be a bird nesting in a tree. Supposing you benefit from the bird, through the aesthetic enjoyment of its song or the pretty colors of its feathers—in this case the relationship could be said to be a mutualism.

In any case, the bird still benefits more, inasmuch as it uses your habitat as a place of shelter. The bird example is an extremely nonintrusive case of inquilinism; more often than not, however, a creature actually uses the literal nest of another species, which would be analogous to a bird nesting in your attic or even the inside of your house.

This is where the analogy breaks down, of course, because such an arrangement would no longer be one of commensalism, since you would be suffering a number of deleterious effects, not the least of which would be bird droppings on the carpet. Inquilinism sometimes is referred to as a cross between commensalism and parasitism and might be regarded as existing on a continuum between the two.

Certainly, there are cases of a creature making use of another's habitat in a parasitic way. Such is the case with the North American cowbird and the European cuckoo, both of which leave their offspring in the nests of other birds to be raised by them.

See Instinct and Learning for a discussion of how these species exploit other birds' instinctive tendency to care for their young. A vascular plant is any plant species containing a vascular systemwhich is a network of vessels for moving fluid through the body of the organism. The relationship is a form of mutualism because, while the fungus benefits from access to carbohydrates, proteins, and other organic nutrients excreted by or contained in the roots of the host plant, the host plant benefits from an enhanced supply of inorganic nutrients, especially phosphorus, that come from the fungus.

The fungus carries out this function primarily by increasing the rate at which organic matter in the immediate vicinity of the plant root decomposes and by efficiently absorbing the inorganic nutrients that are liberated by this process-nutrients it shares with the plant. The term organic refers to the presence of carbon and hydrogen together, which is characteristic not only of all living things but of many nonliving things as well.

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The most important mineral nutrients that the fungus supplies to the plant are compounds containing either phosphorus or, to a lesser degree, nitrogen. These elements are present in biogeochemical cycles—see The Biosphere.

Many mycorrhizal fungi in the Basiodiomycete group develop edible mushrooms, which are gathered by many people for use in gourmet cooking. Mushroom collectors have to be careful, of course, because some mycorrhizal fungi are deadly poisonous, as is the case with the death angel, or destroying angel—Amanita virosa. Perhaps the most famous of the edible mushrooms produced by mycorrhizae are the many varieties known by the name truffle. Among these mushrooms is Tuber melanosporum, which is commonly mycorrhizal on various species of oak tree.

The spore-bearing bodies of the truffle fungi develop underground and are usually brown or black and covered with warts. Truffle hunters require the help of truffle-sniffing pigs or dogs, but their work is definitely worth the trouble: Given the lucrative nature of the undertaking, one might ask why people do not cultivate truffles rather than hunting for them.

To create the necessary conditions for cultivation, however, so much effort is required that it is difficult to make a profit, even at the high prices charged for truffles. The soil composition must be just right, and under conditions of cultivation this takes about five years. Orchids are an example of a plant in an obligate mutualism: Tiny and dustlike, orchid seeds have virtually no stored energy to support the seedling when it germinates, or begins to grow.

Only with the assistance of an appropriate mycorrhizal fungus can these seedlings begin developing. Until horticulturists discovered this fact, orchids were extremely difficult to propagate and grow in greenhouses; today, they are relatively easy to breed and cultivate. Some species of vascular plants do not contain chlorophyll, the chemical necessary for photosynthesis, or the conversion of light energy from the Sun into usable chemical energy in a plant.

Such a plant is like a person missing a vital organ, and under normal circumstances, it would be impossible for the plant to survive. Yet the Indian pipe, or Monotropa uniflora, has managed to thrive despite the fact that it produces no chlorophyll; instead, it depends entirely on mycorrhizal fungus to supply it with the organic nutrients it needs.

This obligate relationship is just one example of the critical role mycorrhizae perform in the lives of plants throughout the world. Mycorrhizae are vital to plant nutrition, especially in places where the soil is poor in nutrients. Whereas many plant roots develop root hairs as a means of facilitating the extraction of water and nutrients from the soil, plant roots that have a mycorrhizal fungus usually do not.

Instead, these plants rely heavily on the fungus itself to absorb moisture and vital chemical elements from the ground. This means that it may be difficult or impossible for plants to survive if they are removed from an environment containing mycorrhizal fungus, a fact that indicates an obligate relationship.

Often, when species of trees and shrubs grown in a greenhouse are transplanted to a non-forested outdoor habitat, they exhibit signs of nutritional distress.

This happens because the soils in such habitats do not have populations of appropriate species of mycorrhizal fungi to colonize the roots of the tree seedlings. If, however, seedlings are transplanted into a clear-cut area that was once a forest dominated by the same or closely related species of trees, the plants generally will do well.

This happens because the clear-cut former forest land typically still has a population of suitable mycorrhizal fungi.

Plants' dependence on mycorrhizal fungi may be so acute that the plants do not do well in the absence of such fungi, even when growing in soil that is apparently abundant in nutrients. Although most mycorrhizal relationships are not so obligate, it is still of critical important to consider mycorrhizal fungi on a site before a natural ecosystem is converted into some sort of anthropogenic habitat that is, an area dominated by humans—see Biomes. For example, almost all the tree species in tropical forests depend on mycorrhizae to supply them with nutrients from the soils, which are typically infertile.

See The Biosphere for more about the soil in rain forests. If people clear and burn the forest to develop new agricultural lands, they leave the soil bereft of a key component. Even though some fungi will survive, they may not necessarily be the appropriate symbionts for the species of grasses and other crops that farmers will attempt to grow on the cleared land.

Interkingdom and Intrakingdom Partnerships Mycorrhizae are just one example of the ways that mutualism brings into play interactions between widely separated species—in that particular case, between members of two entirely different kingdoms, those of plant and fungi.

In some cases, mutualism may bring together an organism of a kingdom whose members are incapable of moving on their own plants, fungi, or algae with one whose members are mobile animals or bacteria.

An excellent example is the relationship between angiosperm plants and bees, which facilitate pollination for the plants see Ecosystems and Ecology. Another plant-insect mutualism exists between a tropical ant Pseudomyrmex ferruginea and a shrub known as the bull's horn acacia Acacia cornigera.

The latter has evolved hollow thorns, which the ants use as protected nesting sites. The bull's horn acacia has the added benefit, from the ant's perspective, of exuding proteins at the tips of its leaflets, thus providing a handy source of nutrition. In return, the ants protect the acacia both from competition with other plants by removing any encroaching foliage from the area and from defoliating insects by killing herbivorous, or plant-eating, insects and attacking larger herbivores, such as grazing mammals.

A much less dramatic, though biologically quite significant, example of interkingdom mutualism is the lichen. Lichen is the name for about 15, varieties, including some that are incorrectly called mosses e. Before the era of microscopy, botanists considered lichens to be single organisms, but they constitute an obligate mutualism between a fungus and an alga or a blue-green bacterium. The fungus benefits from access to photosynthetic products, while the alga or bacterium benefits from the relatively moist habitat that fungus provides as well as from enhanced access to inorganic nutrients.

In contrast to these cross-kingdom or interkingdom types of mutualism, there may be intrakingdom within the same kingdom symbiotic relationships between two very different types of animal. Often, mutualism joins forces in such a way that humans, observing these interactions, see in them object lessons, or stories illustrating the concept that the meek sometimes provide vital assistance to the mighty. One example of this is purely fictional, and it is a very old story indeed: Aesop 's fable about the mouse and the lion.

In this tale a lion catches a mouse and is about to eat the little creature for a snack when the mouse pleads for its life; the lion, feeling particularly charitable that day, decides to spare it. Before leaving, the mouse promises one day to return the favor, and the lion chuckles at this offer, thinking that there is no way that a lowly mouse could ever save a fierce lion.

Then one day the lion steps on a thorn and cannot extract it from his paw. He is in serious pain, yet the thorn is too small for him to remove with his teeth, and he suffers hopelessly—until the mouse arrives and ably extracts the thorn. Many real-life examples of this strong-weak or big-small symbiosis exist, one of the more well-known versions being that between the African black rhinoceros Diceros bicornis and the oxpecker, or tickbird.

Parasitic Plants: Corpse Flower, Mistletoe, and Dodder

The oxpecker, of the genus Buphagus, appears in two species, B. It feeds off ticks, flies, and maggots that cling to the rhino's hide.

Thus, this oddly matched pair often can be seen on the African savannas, the rhino benefiting from the pest-removal services of the oxpecker and the oxpecker enjoying the smorgasbord that the rhino's hide offers. Humans engage in a wide variety of symbiotic relationships with plants, animals, and bacteria. Bacteria may be parasitic on humans, but far from all microorganisms are parasites: The relationship of humans to animals that provide a source of meat might be characterized as predation i.

In any case, our relationship to the animals we have domesticated, which are raised on farms to provide food, is a mixture of predation and mutualism. For example, cows Bos taurus benefit by receiving food, veterinary services, and other forms of care and by protection from other predators, which might end the cows' lives in a much more unpleasant way than a rancher will. All important agricultural plants exist in tight bonds of mutualism with humans, because human farmers have bred species so selectively that they require assistance in reproducing.

For example, over time, agricultural corn, or maize Zea mayshas been selected in such a way as to favor those varieties whose fruiting structure is enclosed in a leafy sheath that does not open and whose seeds do not separate easily from the supporting tissue.

In other words, thanks to selective breeding, the corn that grows on farms is enclosed in a husk, and the kernels do not come off of the cob readily.