To colonize the emerged lands, plants have allied themselves with fungi

French scientists are improving understanding of a primordial evolution dating back around 450 million years.

About 450 million years ago, plants emerged from the water and began to colonize the land. This major migration in the history of our planet was made possible thanks to a very intimate partnership with fungi, explain French scientists in a publication on the cover of the prestigious American journal. Science .

“We have been trying to understand how the transition from aquatic life to terrestrial life took place for years, comments Danièle Werck, Emeritus Research Director at the Institute of Molecular Biology of Plants in Strasbourg. This passage must have been very complicated, because the plants had to put in place many mechanisms to succeed in surviving out of the water. ”


For an algae, water provides both the gas (CO) and the mineral salts it needs; it therefore does not need roots. And before the emergence of land plants, the continents were as inhospitable as they are today.

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