Seasonality and mycorrhizal colonization in three species of epiphytic orchids in southeast Mexico

Orchids establish symbiosis with Rhizoctonia mycorrhizal fungi, forming the characteristic pelotons within the cells of the root cortex. Under natural conditions, terrestrial and epiphytic orchids have different levels of dependence upon the fungal symbiont, although various authors have mentioned that once orchid plants reach maturity the interaction becomes weaker and intermittent. Recent evidence shows that in some epiphytic orchid species mycorrhization is constant and systematic. In three species of wild orchids from southeast Mexico, we show that mycorrhization is systematically present in roots of different ages, in the wet and dry seasons. We demonstrate that the volume of the root that is colonized depends upon the quantity of rainfall and the diameter of the root, and that rainfall also determines the presence of fresh, undigested pelotons. In very thin roots, mycorrhizal colonization occupies a considerable proportion of the cortex, whereas in thicker roots the proportion of the volume of the root cortex colonized is lower.

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Bibliographic Details
Main Authors: Bertolini,Vincenzo, Cruz-Blasi,Jesús, Damon,Anne, Mora,Javier Valle
Format: Digital revista
Published: Sociedade Botânica do Brasil 2014
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