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Ann Bot. 2007 May;99(5):831-4. Epub 2007 Mar 5.

Mycorrhizal acquisition of inorganic phosphorus by the green-leaved terrestrial orchid Goodyera repens.

Author information

1
Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Alfred Denny Building, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK. d.cameron@shef.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS:

Mycorrhizal fungi play a vital role in providing a carbon subsidy to support the germination and establishment of orchids from tiny seeds, but their roles in adult orchids have not been adequately characterized. Recent evidence that carbon is supplied by Goodyera repens to its fungal partner in return for nitrogen has established the mutualistic nature of the symbiosis in this orchid. In this paper the role of the fungus in the capture and transfer of inorganic phosphorus (P) to the orchid is unequivocally demonstrated for the first time.

METHODS:

Mycorrhiza-mediated uptake of phosphorus in G. repens was investigated using spatially separated, two-dimensional agar-based microcosms.

RESULTS:

External mycelium growing from this green orchid is shown to be effective in assimilating and transporting the radiotracer (33)P orthophosphate into the plant. After 7 d of exposure, over 10 % of the P supplied was transported over a diffusion barrier by the fungus and to the plants, more than half of this to the shoots.

CONCLUSIONS:

Goodyera repens can obtain significant amounts of P from its mycorrhizal partner. These results provide further support for the view that mycorrhizal associations in some adult green orchids are mutualistic.

PMID:
17339276
PMCID:
PMC2802910
DOI:
10.1093/aob/mcm018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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