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Serendipita sp. 407
The photo depicts Serendipita sp. 407 which is indistinguishable from Serendipita isolate 411, in pure culture on potato dextrose agar (PDA). Photo credit: Sarah Unruh

Serendipita sp. 411

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. 411 was isolated from roots of a juvenile Clamshell Orchid, Prosthechea cochleata, that grew naturally at Korrie’s Pond in the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge (FPNWR) in 2014. 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.