Microscopic characterization of orchid mycorrhizal fungi: Scleroderma as a putative novel orchid mycorrhizal fungus of Vanilla in different crop systems
Vanilla is an orchid of economic importance widely cultivated in tropical regions and native to Mexico. We sampled three species of Vanilla (V. planifolia, V. pompona, and V. insignis) in different crop systems. We studied the effect of crop system on the abundance, type of fungi, and quality of pelotons found in the roots using light and electron microscopy and direct sequencing of mycorrhizal structures. Fungi were identified directly from pelotons obtained from terrestrial roots of vanilla plants in the flowering stage. Root samples were collected from plants in crop systems located in the Totonacapan area in Mexico (states of Puebla and Veracruz). DNA was extracted directly from 40 pelotons and amplified using ITS rRNA sequencing. Peloton-like structures were observed, presenting a combination of active pelotons characterized by abundant hyphal coils and pelotons in various stages of degradation. The most active pelotons were observed in crop systems throughout living tutors (host tree) in comparison with roots collected from dead or artificial tutors. Fungi identified directly from pelotons included Scleroderma areolatum, a common ectomycorrhizal fungus that has not been reported as a mycorrhizal symbiont in orchids. Direct amplification of pelotons also yielded common plant pathogens, including Fusarium and Pyrenophora seminiperda, especially in those sites with low colonization rates, and where large numbers of degraded pelotons were observed. This research reports for the first time the potential colonization of Vanilla by Scleroderma, as a putative orchid mycorrhizal symbiont in four sites in Mexico and the influence of crop system on mycorrhizal colonization on this orchid.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00572-017-0808-6