Since the hallmark papers of Ken Cullings et al. (1996) and Martin Bidartondo et al. (2002) – both in Nature – many studies have reported on the high mycorrhizal specificity of mycoheterotrophic plants. But specificity is a relative thing, and may differ over the geographic distribution of a species. Therefore Sofia Gomes compared the mycorrhizal specificity of several Thismia species in Australia and New Zealand with that of surrounding plants. She found that mycoheterotrophs always chose for a very specific lineage of fungi, unlike green plants for which mycorrhizal interactions are much less specific. The results were recently published in the journal New Phytologist.
In Southeast Asia the species diversity of Thismia is rising and rising. In August, Sahut Chantanaorrapint and colleagues published this beautiful new species, Thismia claviformis, in Phytotaxa. It was collected in Thailand and it is the 12th species of Thismia known from the Thai-Malay Peninsula.
Prof. Kenji Tsuetsugu discovered a new species of Gastrodia (Orchidaceae) on Kuroshima Island located in the northern Ryukyu (Japan). The new species, Gastrodia kuroshimensis, was published today in Phytotaxa.
See also this press coverage here
Gastrodia kuroshimensis. Photo by K. Tsuetsugu
I own this domain for several years, but never found the time to develop my plans: built an attractive website that sheds light on some of the most intriguing plants on our planet: mycoheterotrophs.
Thanks to (?) some serious health issues that have grounded me this summer (and the previous one) I was finally able to develop this site. The website, which will be forever ‘under construction’, provides an overview of the enigmatic plants, some information about their taxonomy and ecology, and – most importantly – shows a lot of pictures. Because the plants deserve to be seen!
With this blog I plan to highlight news on mycoheterotrophs. New species, publications, amazing pictures,… it all deserves to be here.
The author looking at Epirixanthes cylindrica in a rain forest in Borneo