A wild morel mushroom that can cultivate bacteria belowground.GETTY
The agricultural revolution of 10,000 years ago was thought to be a unique hallmark of Homo sapiens. Now, we know that termites cultivate monocultures of fungi and damselfish farm algae. Humans and animals aren’t the only ones farming – microbes are doing it, too, according to researchers who discovered that a fungus can farm bacteria.
The soil fungus Morchella crassipes, also known as thick-footed morel, is a decomposer as well as a beneficial mycorrhizal fungus that forms symbiotic relationships with plants. The thick-footed morel is also a bacterial farmer. Here are five characteristics of human agriculture that the thick-footed morel also uses to farm the bacteria Pseudomonas putida.