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Fungi that germinate orchids, and how they behave in plant tissue
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Title: Fungi that germinate orchids, and how they behave in plant tissue

Presenter: Prof. Hanne N. Rasmussen

University: Department of Geosciences and Nature Resource Management, Section for Forest Nature and Biomass, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Time: 9:00-11:00, April 1, 2017

Venue: Room A203, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences


Fungi are believed to be indispensable symbionts for orchid seedlings in nature. The relationship implies a net transfer of carbon to the plant, thus reducing or compensating the need for seedling photosynthesis. The fungi involved are saprotrophs, pathogens or ectomycorrhizal, and the carbon source is thus organic debris, or non-orchid living plants. At least 9 orders, 14 families and 17 genera from the fungal Kingdom have been recorded in orchid seedlings germinated in situ, by DNA-based identification. Only Glomales, the mycobionts in VAmycorrhiza do not seem to associate with orchids. In the future we may have to ask what it takes for a fungus to avoid exploitation by some orchid!

The talk will survey of the orchid-fungus relations, and include visualization of the infection patterns when a seed germinates, as largely regulated by the plant.

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