There were many plant focused researchers that had a hunch that hardy native plants living in unusually stressful environments were not operating alone. Our Founders, Dr. Regina Redman and Dr. Rusty Rodriguez were two of them. They were interested in locating hard evidence that native plants might function symbiotically with certain microbes that allow them to prosper. Over time their research lead them to the geothermal pools of Yellowstone National Park. They were intrigued by the native plants growing in soil that reached temperatures of 65°C/149°F. (For perspective, the average temperature of garden soil on a hot day is <37°C / 99°F.) These geothermal soil temps could slow-cook a turkey and plants were thriving there.
What they discovered was that the plants did not adapt to the abiotic stress (in this case heat and drought) all on their own. They had formed a symbiotic relationship with endophytic fungi that lived inside the plants, and these fungi appeared to be giving the plants the ability to modulate their stress response and increase their heat tolerance. They found a way to remove the microbes from the plants and return them to these environments. The plants without the fungi perished, while those that maintained the fungi continued to thrive. With a little help from some friends these plants could survive under much higher temperatures without panic.
This was the start of a novel idea!