Essential mycorrhizal partners of the endemic Chilean orchids Chloraea collicensis and C. gavilu

Guillermo Pereira, Christian Romero, Laura M. Suz, Cristian Atala

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Orchids are obligate mycoheterotrophic plants, relying on fungal nutrient resources to grow for their entire life or until they develop into photosynthetic seedlings. In Chile, orchids are represented by 7 genera and 63 species, 27 of which are endemic. Some Chilean species are considered endangered or rare, but many are insufficiently known. This study aims to isolate, culture, and identify fungal species found in symbiosis with the endemic Chilean orchids Chloraea collicensis Kraenzl. and Chloraea gavilu Lindl. for their potential to be used in future conservation programs. Roots of both species of orchids were collected in the field and those presenting pelotons were firstly cultured in agar-water and thereafter sub-cultured in potato dextrose agar media. Fungal colony growth was measured under the dissecting microscope. Fungal isolates from C. gavilu showed a higher growth rate than isolates from C. collicensis and could be used as inoculum for seed germination in further studies. Isolated colonies showed morphological characteristics of the form genus Rhizoctonia and presented two nuclei per cell. The ITS-nrDNA sequences confirmed their morphological identification as species of Tulasnella.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-99
Number of pages5
JournalFlora: Morphology, Distribution, Functional Ecology of Plants
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Form genus Rhizoctonia
  • ITS-nrDNA
  • Mycorrhizal fungi
  • Terrestrial orchids
  • Tulasnella


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