Project description:Orchids are critically dependent on fungi for seedling establishment and growth, so the distribution and diversity of orchids might depend on the associated fungal communities. We characterised the communities associated with eight orchid species in three Mediterranean protected areas, using a combination of above-ground analyses of sporophores and below-ground molecular analyses of orchid root samples. In three years of sporophore collection in 25 plots around flowering orchid plants, 268 macrofungal species belonging to 84 genera were observed. Statistical analyses indicated a correlation between macrofungal diversity and orchid community variation, regardless of the effect of environmental and spatial factors characterizing the investigated orchid sites. Fungal ITS-DNA PCR amplification, cloning, and sequencing revealed Rhizoctonia-like fungi belonging to Ceratobasidiaceae (26 %), Tulasnellaceae (22.5 %), and Sebacinaceae (3.5 %), as well as other basidiomycetes and ascomycetes, in the roots of 99 orchid plants. Mycorrhizal specificity was low but co-occurring orchid species showed preferences for different partners. The diverse macrofungal communities found in the sites may contribute to orchid community variation without colonizing the orchid roots. Molecular analyses revealed a segregation of associated fungi, which may contribute to Mediterranean orchid coexistence in nature.
Project description:Previously we developed genomic resources for orchids, including transcriptomic analyses using next-generation sequencing techniques and construction of a web-based orchid genomic database. Here, we report a modified molecular model of flower development in the Orchidaceae based on functional analysis of gene expression profiles in Phalaenopsis aphrodite (a moth orchid) that revealed novel roles for the transcription factors involved in floral organ pattern formation. Phalaenopsis orchid floral organ-specific genes were identified by microarray analysis. Several critical transcription factors including AP3, PI, AP1 and AGL6, displayed distinct spatial distribution patterns. Phylogenetic analysis of orchid MADS box genes was conducted to infer the evolutionary relationship among floral organ-specific genes. The results suggest that gene duplication MADS box genes in orchid may have resulted in their gaining novel functions during evolution. Based on these analyses, a modified model of orchid flowering was proposed. Comparison of the expression profiles of flowers of a peloric mutant and wild-type Phalaenopsis orchid further identified genes associated with lip morphology and peloric effects. Large scale investigation of gene expression profiles revealed that homeotic genes from the ABCDE model of flower development classes A and B in the Phalaenopsis orchid have novel functions due to evolutionary diversification, and display differential expression patterns.
Project description:Orchid species are critically dependent on mycorrhizal fungi for completion of their life cycle, particularly during the early stages of their development when nutritional resources are scarce. As such, orchid mycorrhizal fungi play an important role in the population dynamics, abundance, and spatial distribution of orchid species. However, less is known about the ecology and distribution of orchid mycorrhizal fungi. In this study, we used 454 amplicon pyrosequencing to investigate ecological and geographic variation in mycorrhizal associations in fourteen species of the orchid genus Dactylorhiza. More specifically, we tested the hypothesis that variation in orchid mycorrhizal communities resulted primarily from differences in habitat conditions where the species were growing. The results showed that all investigated Dactylorhiza species associated with a large number of fungal OTUs, the majority belonging to the Tulasnellaceae, Ceratobasidiaceae and Sebacinales. Mycorrhizal specificity was low, but significant variation in mycorrhizal community composition was observed between species inhabiting different ecological habitats. Although several fungi had a broad geographic distribution, Species Indicator Analysis revealed some fungi that were characteristic for specific habitats. Overall, these results indicate that orchid mycorrhizal fungi may have a broad geographic distribution, but that their occurrence is bounded by specific habitat conditions.
Project description:Mycorrhizal fungi are essential for the growth and development of both epiphytic (growing on trees) and lithophytic (growing on rocks) orchids. Previous studies indicate that in lowland tropical areas, orchid mycorrhizal fungal compositions are correlated with the life form (i.e., epiphytic, lithophytic, or terrestrial) of their host plants. We therefore tested if a similar correlation exists in an orchid distributed at higher elevations. Coelogyne corymbosa is an endangered ornamental orchid species that can be found as a lithophyte and epiphyte in subtropical to subalpine areas. Based on high-throughput sequencing of the fungal internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2)-rDNA region of mycorrhizae of C. corymbosa, we detected 73 putative mycorrhizal fungal Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs). The OTUs of two dominant lineages (Cantharellales and Sebacinales) detected from C. corymbosa are phylogenetically different from those of other species within the genus Coelogyne, indicating that different orchid species prefer specific mycorrhizal fungi. We also found that the Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) plots of orchid mycorrhizal fungi were not clustered with life form, the variations among orchid mycorrhizal fungal communities of different life forms were not significant, and most of the OTUs detected from epiphytic individuals were shared by the lithophytic plants, suggesting that orchid mycorrhizal associations of C. corymbosa were not affected by life form. These findings provide novel insights into mycorrhizal associations with endangered ornamental orchids.
Project description:Orchid (Orchidaceae) is one of the largest families in angiosperms and presents exceptional diversity in lifestyle. Their unique reproductive characteristics of orchid are attracted by scientist for centuries. One of the synapomorphies of orchid plants is that their seeds do not contain endosperm. Lipids are used as major energy storage in orchid seeds. However, regulation and mobilization of lipid usage during early seedling (protocorm) stage of orchid is not understood. In this study, we compared transcriptomes from developing Phalaenopsis aphrodite protocorms grown on 1/2-strength MS medium with sucrose. The expression of P. aphrodite MALATE SYNTHASE (PaMLS), involved in the glyoxylate cycle, was significantly decreased from 4 days after incubation (DAI) to 7 DAI. On real-time RT-PCR, both P. aphrodite ISOCITRATE LYASE (PaICL) and PaMLS were down-regulated during protocorm development and suppressed by sucrose treatment. In addition, several genes encoding transcription factors regulating PaMLS expression were identified. A gene encoding homeobox transcription factor (named PaHB5) was involved in positive regulation of PaMLS. This study showed that sucrose regulates the glyoxylate cycle during orchid protocorm development in asymbiotic germination and provides new insights into the transcription factors involved in the regulation of malate synthase expression.
Project description:The MYB transcription factors DIVARICATA (DIV), DIV-and-RAD-Interacting-Factor (DRIF), and the small interfering peptide RADIALIS (RAD) can interact, forming a regulatory module that controls different plant developmental processes. In the snapdragon Antirrhinum majus, this module, together with the TCP transcription factor CYCLOIDEA (CYC), is responsible for the establishment of floral dorsoventral asymmetry. The spatial gene expression pattern of the OitDIV, OitDRIF, and OitRAD homologs of Orchis italica, an orchid with zygomorphic flowers, has suggested a possible conserved role of these genes in bilateral symmetry of the orchid flower. Here, we have identified four DRIF genes of orchids and have reconstructed their genomic organization and evolution. In addition, we found snapdragon transcriptional cis-regulatory elements of DIV and RAD loci generally conserved within the corresponding orchid orthologues. We have tested the biochemical interactions among OitDIV, OitDRIF1, and OitRAD of O. italica, showing that OitDRIF1 can interact both with OitDIV and OitRAD, whereas OitDIV and OitRAD do not directly interact, as in A. majus. The analysis of the quantitative expression profile of these MYB genes revealed that in zygomorphic orchid flowers, the DIV, DRIF1, and RAD transcripts are present at higher levels in the lip than in lateral inner tepals, whereas in peloric orchid flowers they show similar expression levels. These results indicate that MYB transcription factors could have a role in shaping zygomorphy of the orchid flower, potentially enriching the underlying orchid developmental code.
Project description:Among 300,000 species in angiosperms, Orchidaceae containing 30,000 species is one of the largest families. Almost every habitats on earth have orchid plants successfully colonized, and it indicates that orchids are among the plants with significant ecological and evolutionary importance. So far, four orchid genomes have been sequenced, including Phalaenopsis equestris, Dendrobium catenatum, Dendrobium officinale, and Apostaceae shengen. Here, we review the current progress and the direction of orchid research in the post genomics era. These include the orchid genome evolution, genome mapping (genome-wide association analysis, genetic map, physical map), comparative genomics (especially receptor-like kinase and terpene synthase), secondary metabolomics, and genome editing.
Project description:The enigmatic nature of the specialized developmental programs of orchids has fascinated plant biologists for centuries. The recent releases of orchid genomes indicate that orchids possess new gene families and family expansions and contractions to regulate a diverse suite of developmental processes. However, the extremely long orchid life cycle and lack of molecular toolkit have hampered the advancement of orchid biology research. To overcome the technical difficulties and establish a platform for rapid gene regulation studies, in this study, we developed an efficient protoplast isolation and transient expression system for Phalaenopsis aphrodite. This protocol was successfully applied to protein subcellular localization and protein-protein interaction studies. Moreover, it was confirmed to be useful in delineating the PaE2F/PaDP-dependent cell cycle pathway and studying auxin response. In summary, the established orchid protoplast transient expression system provides a means to functionally characterize orchid genes at the molecular level allowing assessment of transcriptome responses to transgene expression and widening the scope of molecular studies in orchids.
Project description:UNLABELLED: PREMISE OF THE STUDY:Phylogenetic and microsatellite markers were developed for Tulasnella mycorrhizal fungi to investigate fungal species identity and diversity. These markers will be useful in future studies investigating the phylogenetic relationship of the fungal symbionts, specificity of orchid-mycorrhizal associations, and the role of mycorrhizae in orchid speciation within several orchid genera. • METHODS AND RESULTS:We generated partial genome sequences of two Tulasnella symbionts originating from Chiloglottis and Drakaea orchid species with 454 genome sequencing. Cross-genus transferability across mycorrhizal symbionts associated with multiple genera of Australian orchids (Arthrochilus, Chiloglottis, Drakaea, and Paracaleana) was found for seven phylogenetic loci. Five loci showed cross-transferability to Tulasnella from other orchid genera, and two to Sebacina. Furthermore, 11 polymorphic microsatellite loci were developed for Tulasnella from Chiloglottis. • CONCLUSIONS:Highly informative markers were obtained, allowing investigation of mycorrhizal diversity of Tulasnellaceae associated with a wide variety of terrestrial orchids in Australia and potentially worldwide.
Project description:In Zambia, wild edible terrestrial orchids are used to produce a local delicacy called chikanda, which has become increasingly popular throughout the country. Commercialization puts orchid populations in Zambia and neighbouring countries at risk of overharvesting. Hitherto, no study has documented which orchid species are traded on local markets, as orchid tubers are difficult to identify morphologically. In this study, the core land-plant DNA barcoding markers rbcL and matK were used in combination with nrITS to determine which species were sold in Zambian markets. Eighty-two interviews were conducted to determine harvesting areas, as well as possible sustainability concerns. By using nrITS DNA barcoding, a total of 16 orchid species in six different genera could be identified. Both rbcL and matK proved suitable to identify the tubers up to the genus or family level. Disa robusta, Platycoryne crocea and Satyrium buchananii were identified most frequently and three previously undocumented species were encountered on the market. Few orchid species are currently listed on the global International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. Local orchid populations and endemic species could be at risk of overharvesting due to the intensive and indiscriminate harvesting of chikanda orchids, and we therefore encourage increased conservation assessment of terrestrial African orchids.