Mycorrhizal fungi when well-fed by plant exudates, not only mine the minerals out of rocks, they bring them right to a plant and in some cases right inside a plant’s green body. In addition to expanding a plants roots system reach they also release powerful enzymes into the soil that dissolve hard-to-capture nutrients, such as organic nitrogen, phosphorus, iron and other “tightly bound” soil nutrients. The minerals considered essential to plant health as well as our own number about a dozen. The familiar ones, like zinc and iron, help build a plant’s fruits and vegetables. The not-so-familiar molybdenum, assists plants to use nitrogen and turns sunlight into carbohydrates.
For a variety of reasons, plant roots need help to take up sufficient amounts of minerals. Mycorrhizal fungi assist them. This fungal organism can double or triple a plant’s nutrient uptake per unit root length. The root-like hyphae of fungi act as long-distance conduits, that, extend a plant’s roots. One end connects to a root, the other to a store of minerals often beyond the physical reach of roots.