Plant Diversity ›› 2014, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (03): 321-330.DOI: 10.7677/ynzwyj201413117

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Mycorrhizal Fungi Promote Growth and Nitrogen Utilization by Dendrobium nobile (Orchidaceae)

 WANG  Qiu-Xia-1、2, YAN  Ning-1, JI  Da-Gan-1, LI  Shu-Yun-1, HU  Jiang-Miao-3, HU  Hong-1   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Economic Plants and Biotechnology, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences,
    Kunming 650201, China; 2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China; 3 State Key
    Laboratory of Phytochemistry and Plant Resources in West China, Kunming Institute of Botany,
    Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, China
  • Received:2013-05-23 Online:2014-05-25 Published:2013-08-20


 Mycorrhizal associations play a key role in the life cycle and evolutionary history of orchids. Although most orchid species are tropical and epiphytic, their mycorrhizae are poorly understood compared with those of temperate, terrestrial orchids. To investigate the influences of such fungi on photosynthetic, epiphytic orchids, we inoculated seedlings of Dendrobium nobile with Epulorhiza sp. (S1) or Tulasnella sp. (S3). These fungi had been identified based on their morphological and molecular characters. Both S1 and S3 formed symbiotic associations with our seedlings, promoting their growth and development to various degrees. Results from signature experiments with the 15N stable isotope suggested that the utilization of organic nitrogen by orchid seedlings was significantly improved by S1, but not by S3. Dendrobine contents were significantly higher in all inoculated seedlings. Our findings demonstrate that these mycorrhizal fungi enhance plant growth, their utilization of organic nitrogen, and the accumulation of secondary metabolites in this epiphytic orchid species.

Key words: Dendrobium nobile, Mycorrhizal fungi, Growth, 15N, Dendrobine

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