Mycorrhizae and orchid systematics

Peter Stevens peter.stevens at MOBOT.ORG
Tue Sep 2 16:03:36 CDT 2003

>I don't know anything about orchid mycorrhizae, but I, too, was
>trying to find out more about what is going on. I was looking at SE
>Smith and DJ Read, 'Mycorrhizal sumbioisis. ed. 2 (1997), which
>seems to be a good introduction to the subject.  In
>Ericaceae-Monotropeae, which also have intracellular mycorrhizae,
>there is considerable host specificity.  The reference - to
>Bidartondo and Bruns, I believe -  are on the Angiosperm Phylogeny
>Wsebsite (at Missouri Botanical Garden).

Peter S.

>There's a debate raging over at about whether
>mycorrhizae are useful for investigating the taxonomy of the
>Orchidaceae--e.g., "these two similar species of orchids must be
>different because one forms relationships solely with fungus X,
>while the other depends solely on Y."  So far, I don't think any
>orchid systematists or mycologists have weighed in on the subject.
>I know that parasitology has been used to help fine-tune taxonomies
>in animals. Can anyone tell me if mycorrizal associations might have
>a similar use in orchid systematics?  Are there any literature
>references I might pursue?
>Monique Reed
>Herbarium Botanist
>Biology Department
>TAMU 3258
>Texas A&M University

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