Mycorrhizae and orchid systematics

Jim Croft jrc at ANBG.GOV.AU
Wed Sep 3 09:45:52 CDT 2003

>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?

Tupac Otero (tupac.otero at and Mark Clements
(mark.clements at here at the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research
and the Australian National Herbarium are looking at this issue in
Australian Orchidaceae using a range of molecular techniques, and Tupac has
done similar research in the neotropics.

Unfortunately they are just heading off into the field for two weeks to
seek additional material for their research.  Suggest you try and make
contact when they return.


~ Jim Croft ~ jrc at ~ 02-62465500 ~ ~

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