Title: Low specificity and nested subset structure characterize mycorrhizal associations in five closely related species of the genus Orchis
Authors: Jacquemyn, Hans ×
Honnay, Olivier
Cammue, Bruno
Brys, Rein
Lievens, Bart #
Issue Date: Sep-2010
Publisher: Blackwell Science
Series Title: Molecular Ecology vol:19 issue:18 pages:4086-4095
Abstract: Most orchid species rely on mycorrhizae to complete their life cycle. Despite a growing body of literature identifying orchid mycorrhizal associations, the nature and specificity of the association between orchid species and mycorrhizal fungi remains largely an open question. Nonetheless, better insights into these obligate plant–fungus associations are indispensable for understanding the biology and conservation of orchid populations. To investigate orchid mycorrhizal associations in five species of the genus Orchis (O. anthropophora, O. mascula, O. militaris, O. purpurea, and O. simia), we developed internal transcribed spacer-based DNA arrays from extensive clone library sequence data sets, enabling rapid and simultaneous detection of a wide range of basidiomycetous mycorrhizal fungi. A low degree of specificity was observed, with two orchid species associating with nine different fungal partners. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the majority of Orchis mycorrhizal fungi are members of the Tulasnellaceae, but in some plants, members of the Thelephoraceae, Cortinariaceae and Ceratobasidiaceae were also found. In all species except one (O. mascula), individual plants associated with more than one fungus simultaneously, and in some cases, associations with ‡3 mycorrhizal fungi at the same time were identified. Nestedness analysis showed that orchid mycorrhizal associations were significantly nested, suggesting asymmetric specialization and a dense core of interactions created by symmetric interactions between generalist species. Our results add support to the growing literature that multiple associations may be common among orchids. Low specificity or preference for a widespread fungal symbiont may partly explain the wide distribution of the investigated species.
ISSN: 0962-1083
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Centre of Microbial and Plant Genetics
Plant Systematics and Ecology Section - miscellaneous
Microbial and Molecular Systems - miscellaneous
Bioengineering Technology TC, Technology Campus De Nayer Sint-Katelijne-Waver
Technologiecluster Bioengineering Technologie
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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