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Tulasnella sp. 419, growing in the lab [Photo credit: Lawrence Zettler]

Tulasnella sp. 419

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 sp. 419 was isolated from roots of mature Cypripedium candidum growing in Bystricky Prairie (McHenry Co., Illinois) in 2015, in association with the U.S. Federally Threatened Platanthera leucophaea (Thixton et al. 2020, Bot. Stud.). There are surprisingly few reports of fungi from Lady’s Slipper orchids throughout North America. Thus, this fungus has not been tested for its ability to facilitate seed germination in vitro.


  • Hana L. Thixton, Elizabeth J. Esselman, Laura L. Corey & Lawrence W. Zettler. Further evidence of Ceratobasidium D.P. Rogers (Basidiomycota) serving as the ubiquitous fungal associate of Platanthera leucophaea (Orchidaceae) in the North American tallgrass prairie. Botanical Studies, volume 61:12 (2020). doi:10.1186/s40529-020-00289-z