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Tulasnella calospora
Photo credit: Roger Meissen

Description for Tulasnella calospora UAMH 9824

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.

Tulasnella calospora UAMH 9824 was isolated from a primary lateral root of Spiranthes brevilabris in Levy County, Florida, USA. This species has been nicknamed, the “Super fungus” because of its ability to germinate seeds from a variety of orchid species from a variety of geographic locations. This generalist behavior has benefited researchers growing orchids in vitro and will be helpful to compare to more specialist orchid fungal genomes.