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Serendipita sp. 407
The photo depicts Serendipita sp. 407 which is indistinguishable from Serendipita isolate 400, in pure culture on potato dextrose agar (PDA). Photo credit: Sarah Unruh

Serendipita sp. 400

Orchid seeds require organic carbon acquired from mycorrhizal fungi to germinate and develop. To better understand the genome evolution of fungi that participate in the orchid mycorrhizal symbiosis, we are sequencing a variety of fungal species that have been demonstrated to germinate orchid seeds. Analyses of these genomes will reveal patterns that may explain their ability to interact with orchids.

Serendipita sp. 400 was isolated from roots of mature Florida Butterfly Orchid, Encyclia tampensis in 2014, that grew naturally at Korrie’s Pond in the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge (FPNWR). This strain and all other Serendipita isolated from the FPNWR appear identical in pure culture. None of the Serendipita fungi from FPNWR have facilitated seed germination in previous attempts. Young colonies on potato dextrose agar (PDA) have are deep pink in color turning dull orange with age.