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Title: Rangewide analysis of fungal associations in the fully mycoheterotrophic Corallorhiza striata complex (Orchidaceae) reveals extreme specificity on ectomycorrhizal Tomentella (Thelephoraceae) across North America

Author: Barrett, Craig F.; Freudenstein, John V.; Taylor, D. Lee; Koljalg, Urmas.;

Date: 2010

Source: American Journal of Botany. 97(4): 628-643

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Fully mycoheterotrophic plants offer a fascinating system for studying phylogenetic associations and dynamics of symbiotic specificity between hosts and parasites. These plants frequently parasitize mutualistic mycorrhizal symbioses between fungi and trees. Corallorhiza striata is a fully mycoheterotrophic, North American orchid distributed from Mexico to Canada, but the full extent of its fungal associations and specificity is unknown. Plastid DNA (orchids) and ITS (fungi) were sequenced for 107 individuals from 42 populations across North America to identify C. striata mycobionts and test hypotheses on fungal host specificity. Four largely allopatric orchid plastid clades were recovered, and all fungal sequences were most similar to ectomycorrhizal Tomentella (Thelephoraceae), nearly all to T. fuscocinerea. Orchid-fungal gene trees were incongruent but nonindependent; orchid clades associated with divergent sets of fungi, with a clade of Californian orchids subspecialized toward a narrow Tomentella fuscocinerea clade. Both geography and orchid clades were important determinants of fungal association, following a geographic mosaic model of specificity on Tomentella fungi. These findings corroborate patterns described in other fully mycoheterotrophic orchids and monotropes, represent one of the most extensive plant-fungal genetic investigations of fully mycoheterotrophic plants, and have conservation implications for the >400 plant species engaging in this trophic strategy worldwide.

Keywords: Cophylogeny, Corallorhiza striata, geographic mosaic, mycoheterotrophy, mycorrhiza, Orchidaceae, parasite, phylogenetics, plastid DNA, Thelephoraceae, Tomentella.

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Barrett, Craig F.; Freudenstein, John V.; Taylor, D. Lee; Koljalg, Urmas. 2010. Rangewide analysis of fungal associations in the fully mycoheterotrophic Corallorhiza striata complex (Orchidaceae) reveals extreme specificity on ectomycorrhizal Tomentella (Thelephoraceae) across North America. American Journal of Botany. 97(4): 628-643.

 


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