In order to acquire nutrients, Cinchona pubescens forms a relationship with arbuscular mycorrhizae.  The association formed is also called an endomycorrhizae.  This is a mutualistic relationship which allows nutrient exchange between a fungus and the roots of the tree.  In the arbuscular mycorrhizae, there is no dense coating over the surface of the root, and so the fungal hyphae are able to submerge into the root of the tree.  The fungal hyphae enter the epidermal cells and penetrate through to the root cortex.  The fungal hyphae do not extend itself any further into the root to break the plasma membrane.  Next, the fungal hyphae form many invaginations around the surface of the root cell’s membrane.   After forming the invaginations and branching, the hyphae form the structures where this relationship receives its name from.  The little structures are called arbuscules or more informally known as “little trees” for their shape.  The arbuscules are very important because they are the site of nutrient transfer.

Want to know more about the life cyle of the fever tree?  Visit Reproduction next.

Want to go Home instead?