Mycorrhizal Fungi and Cold-Assisted Symbiotic Germination of the Federally Threatened Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid, Platanthera Leucophaea (Nuttall) Lindley

By Zettler, Lawrence W.; Stewart, Scott L. et al. | The American Midland Naturalist, January 2001 | Go to article overview

Mycorrhizal Fungi and Cold-Assisted Symbiotic Germination of the Federally Threatened Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid, Platanthera Leucophaea (Nuttall) Lindley


Zettler, Lawrence W., Stewart, Scott L., Bowles, Marlin L., Jacobs, Karel A., The American Midland Naturalist


ABSTRACT.-The 70% decline of the Federally threatened eastern prairie fringed orchid, Platanthera leucophaea (Nuttall) Lindley, has prompted concern for its recovery through artificial propagation. We describe a technique to germinate seeds and cultivate seedlings of P leucophaea in vitro using cold treatments (=stratification) and mycorrhizal fungi (=symbiotic seed germination). Five fungal isolates were recovered from mature P leucophaea plants in Illinois and Michigan and were identified as members of the anamorphic genus Ceratorhiza Moore. Stratified seeds inoculated with mycorrhizal fungi germinated within 25 d of sowing. Leaf-bearing seedlings were obtained by chilling young seedlings (protocorms) for 107 d. Our successful culture of leaf-bearing seedlings with a presumed mycotrophic capability may make it possible for this threatened orchid to be propagated in soil ex vitro, followed by reintroduction into suitable habitats.

INTRODUCTION

The Federally threatened eastern prairie fringed orchid, Platanthera leucophaea (Nuttall) Lindley, has declined by 70% across the United States mostly as a result of habitat conversion to agriculture (Bowles, 1983, 1999). Many of the remaining populations are small (50-100 plants), and it is feared that inbreeding depression may be contributing to P leucophaea's decline. Existing populations also remain vulnerable to habitat destruction, poaching and ineffective site management (Bowles, 1999), prompting concern for P leucophaea's recovery. To implement conservation of P leucophaea, reliable seed germination methods must be developed and the mycorrhizal symbionts identified. Unfortunately, little is known about the identity of orchid mycorrhizal fungi and few North American terrestrial orchid species have been successfully propagated from seed (Zettler, 1996).

Zelmer and Currah (1995) recovered Ceratorhiza pernacatena Zelmer and Currah from the mycorrhizas of Platanthera praeclara Sheviak and Bowles growing in a tallgrass prairie in Canada and speculated that the fungus could be specific to P praeclara or the P pr-aeclara-P leucophaea species pair. Leaf-bearing seedlings of P leucophaea have been obtained in one study (Stoutamire, 1996) on aseptic media containing an external carbon source (=asymbiotic germination; Stoutamire, 1974; Linden, 1980; Arditti et al., 1981) after seeds were pretreated with cold and moisture (=stratification); however, these seedlings did not survive soil transfer ex vitro (W. Stoutamire, pers. com.), possibly because they lacked the mycorrhizal symbiont. The use of fungi to propagate terrestrial orchids (eg., Platanthera) from seed (=symbiotic seed germination) has been employed as one technique to improve seedling establishment in soil (Clements and Ellyard, 1979; Clements et al., 1986; Anderson, 1991; Zettler and McInnis, 1992; Anderson, 1996), because it is assumed that seedlings are provided with a mycotrophic capability (Rasmussen, 1995). This would enable seedlings to use (digest) fungi as an energy source before initiating photosynthesis. For conservation purposes, planting symbiotically grown seedlings increases the likelihood that the critically important symbiotic partner is reintroduced into suitable habitats along with the seedlings (Zettler, 1997a).

In this article, we describe the mycorrhizal fungi recovered from mature Platanthera leucophaea root-like organs. We also provide a technique to germinate seeds and cultivate leaf- bearing seedlings of P. leucophaea in vitro, assisted by cold treatments and mycorrhizal fungi.

METHODS

Fungal isolation and characterization.-Mature (leaf-bearing) P leucophaea plants, along with intact soil were collected from Abbott Park, Lake Co., Illinois on 24 June 1998 and from Monroe Co., Michigan on 4 Oct. 1998. Plants were placed in plastic bags, sealed and transported to the laboratory immediately after collection. Root systems were detached for fungal isolations and the remaining above ground portion of the Abbott Park specimen was deposited as a voucher (LWZ #858) in the Illinois College Herbarium. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Mycorrhizal Fungi and Cold-Assisted Symbiotic Germination of the Federally Threatened Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid, Platanthera Leucophaea (Nuttall) Lindley
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.