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Mycorrhizal compatibility and symbiotic seed germination of orchids from the Coastal Range and Andes in south central Chile
- Herrera, Hector, Valadares, Rafael, Contreras, Domingo, Bashan, Yoav, Arriagada, Cesar
- Mycorrhiza 2017 v.27 no.3 pp. 175-188
- Ceratobasidium, Orchidaceae, Thanatephorus, Tulasnella, adults, endangered species, endophytes, light microscopy, mountains, mycorrhizae, mycorrhizal fungi, plant establishment, roots, seed development, seed germination, seeds, Andes region, Chile
- Little is known about Orchidaceae plants in Chile and their mycorrhizal associations, a key issue for designing protective actions for endangered species. We investigated root fungi from seven terrestrial orchid species to identify potential mycorrhizal fungi. The main characteristics of Rhizoctonia-like fungi were observed under light microscopy, and isolates were identified through PCR-ITS sequencing. Molecular identification of fungal sequences showed a high diversity of fungi colonizing roots. Fungal ability to germinate seeds of different orchids was determined in symbiotic germination tests; 24 fungal groups were isolated, belonging to the genera Tulasnella, Ceratobasidium, and Thanatephorus. Furthermore, dark septate and other endophytic fungi were identified. The high number of Rhizoctonia-like fungi obtained from adult orchids from the Coastal mountain range suggests that, after germination, these orchids may complement their nutritional demands through mycoheterotrophy. Nonetheless, beneficial associations with other endophytic fungi may also co-exist. In this study, isolated mycorrhizal fungi had the ability to induce seed germination at different efficiencies and with low specificity. Germin ation rates were low, but protocorms continued to develop for 60 days. A Tulasnella sp. isolated from Chloraea gavilu was most effective to induce seed germination of different species. The dark septate endophytic (DSE) fungi did not show any effect on seed development; however, their widespread occurrence in some orchids suggests a putative role in plant establishment.