Orchidaceous mycorrhizal fungi

This topic submitted by Ryan Banks at 7:37 PM on 5/17/03.

Tara and Scott SCUBA along the Wall at Runway Ten, 15 m deep, San Salvador, Bahamas.

Tropical Field Courses -Western Program-Miami University


I’ve always been attracted to plants for many different reasons. One of the first is the spectacular colors and shapes of plants and their flowers. Last year after surveying much of the Costa Rican vegetation, I became even more fascinated with a certain kind of plant species known as the orchid. As most everyone that has seen a beautiful orchid knows, they are probably the most stunning of all plants in the world. After furthering my studies in botany I found more facts about orchids that I hadn’t before seen. One of these is the intense interaction between orchids and fungi, specifically mycorrhizal fungi. So I chose to report on this interaction

1) Introduction
a) Orchid seed production and structure
b) Orchid flower structure
2) Mycorrhizae
a) Mycorrhizal fungi
i) Endomycorrhizae
ii) Ectomycorrhizae
3) General info. Concerning mycorrhizae interactions
a) Symbioses
4) Function of Orchidaceous mycorrhizae
a) Intro
b) Seed germination
c) Nutrient exchange
5) Orchid control of fungi colonisation
6) Conclusion


Dodson, Calaway H. Orchid Flowers, their Pollination and Evolution. University of Miami press. 1966

Fox, Gordon A. The Ecology of Plants. Sinauer Associates, Inc., Publishers. Sunderland, Mass. 2002.

Harley, J.L. & Smith, S.E., 1983. Mycorrhizal Symbiosis. Academic Press, New York. 483 pages.

Krichner, John. A Neotropical Companion. Princeton University Press, New Jersey. 1997.

Masuhara, G and Katsuya, K.In situ and in vivo specificity between Rhizoctonia spp and Spiranthes sinensis (Persoon) Ames var amoena (Orchidaceae). New Phytologist 127, 711 – 718. 1994

Mosse, B., 1956. Fructifications of an Endogone species causing endotrophic mycorrhizae in fruit plants. Ann. Bot. (London) 20: 349-362.

MF, Allen (ed). Mycorrhizal Functioning. Chapman & Hall, New York. 1992

Reinikka, Merle A. A History of the Orchid. University of Miami press. 1972

Smith, SE and Read, DJ. Mycorrhizal Symbiosis. Academic Press, London. 1997

Sylvia, D.M. & Williams, S.E., 1992. Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae and environmental stress. In, Mycorrhizae in Sustainable Agriculture. G.J. Bethlenfalvay & R.G. Linderman Eds. ASA Special Publication Number 54, Madison Wisconsin 101-124.

The Microbial World, Mycorrhizas. Http://helios.bto.ed.ac.uk/microbes/mycorrh.htm, 2000

Biodiversity of Mycorrhizal Fungi. http://res2.agr.gc/ecorc/mycor/bio_sols_e.htm, 1997

Function of Orchid Mycorrhizas. http://bugs.bio.usyd.edu.au/mycology/plantinteractions/mycorrhiza/orchidmycorrhiza/function/text.htm 1999.

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