Wild Yam photo taken by claytonnativesACQUISITION
The wild yam acquires its nutrients from two main sources. The mycorrhizal relationship with fungi allows for roots to take in nutrients and water as efficiently as possible. This is discussed again in more detail on the interaction page. Yams also go through photosynthesis to produce sugars. In very basic terms, photosynthesis is the conversion of light energy to the chemical energy that is ATP made from sugars. The sugars are made from a chemical reaction that takes light, carbon-dioxide, and water to create oxygen and sugar (glucose).

Glucose created in photosynthesis is made in vast excess. The extra glucose is converted into sucrose which is then transported through the phloem to a tuberous rhizome (root) underground. The rhizome is essential for the survival of Dioscorea villosa L. throughout the winters it experiences. This ability to use the sucrose from the rhizome allows the wild yam to be a perennial plant that lives longer than one year.

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