The most recent results on orchid mycorrhizal fungi in Hungary


Symbionts and endophytes of Hungarian orchids were studied at diverse habitats. Mycobionts of roots and in situ germinated protocorms of 15 orchid species were identified by molecular methods. Four fungal groups could be distinguished from orchids living at diversely wet treeless habitats: Ceratobasidiaceae, Epulorhiza 1, Epulorhiza 2 and Sebacinaceae. While the groups Ceratobasidiaceae and Sebacinaceae were detected only at habitats with medium water supply, members of clade Epulorhiza occurred at all of the treeless study sites. These observations suggest that fungi belonging to the genus Epulorhiza are more tolerant of water-stress than the other investigated genera. An ascomycetous fungus from the family Pezizaceae could be identified from the roots of Orchis coriophora. Further Ascomycetes were identified at forest habitats. Tuber maculatum was detected from the roots of Epipactis helleborine and Cephalanthera damasonium, and Tuber excavatum from Epipactis microphylla.


  1. 1.

    Altschul, S. F., Madden, T. L., Schäffer, A. A., Zhang, J., Zhang, Z., Miller, W., Lipman, D. J. (1997) Gapped BLAST and PSI-BLAST: a new generation of protein database search programs. Nucleic Acids Res. 25, 3389–3402.

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Bidartondo, M. I., Burghardt, B., Gebauer, G., Bruns, T. D., Read, D. J. (2004) Changing partners in the dark: isotopic and molecular evidence of ectomycorrhizal liaisons between forest orchids and trees. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 271, 1799–1806.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Bonnardeaux, Y., Brundrett, M., Batty, A., Dixon, K., Koch, J., Sivasithamparam, K. (2007) Diversity of mycorrhizal fungi of terrestrial orchids: compatibility webs, brief encounters, lasting relationships and alien invasions. Mycol. Res. 111, 51–61.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Brundrett, M. C., Scade, A., Batty, A. L., Dixon, K. W., Sivasithamparam, K. (1993) Development of in situ and ex situ seed baiting techniques to detect mycorrhizal fungi from terrestrial orchid habitats. Mycol. Res. 107, 1210–1220.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Gardes, M., Bruns, T. D. (1993) ITS primers with enhanced specificity for basidiomycetes: application to the identification of mycorrhizae and rusts. Mol. Ecol. 2, 113–118.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Illyés, Z., Halász, K., Rudnóy, Sz., Ouanphanivanh, N., Garay, T., Bratek, Z. (2009) Changes in the diversity of mycorrhizal fungi of orchids as a function of the water supply of the habitat. J. Appl. Bot. Food Qual. 83, 28–36.

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Kårén, O., Högberg, N., Dahlberg, A., Jonsson, L., Nylund, J.-E. (1997) Inter- and intra-specific variation in the ITS region of rDNA of ectomycorrhizal fungi in Fennoscandia as detected by endonuclease analysis. New Phytol. 136, 313–325.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    McKendrick, S. L., Leake, D. J., Taylor, D. L., Read, D. J. (2000) Symbiotic germination and development of myco-heterotrophic plants in nature: transfer of carbon from ectomycorrhizal Salix repens and Betula pendula to the orchid Corallorhiza trifida through shared hyphal connections. New Phytol. 145, 539–548.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Merényi, Zs., Pintér, Zs., Orczán, Á. K., Illyés, Z., Bratek, Z. (2008) Biogeographical and ecological studies on hypogeous fungi of the Carpathian Basin, using establishment and integration of computational databases. Mikológiai Közlemények, Clusiana 47, 223–230. (in Hungarian with English abstract)

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Ouanphanivanh, N., Illyés, Z., Rudnóy, Sz., Bratek, Z. (2007) Orchid mycorrhizal fungal diversity of Orchis militaris habitats. Tájökológiai Lapok 5, 325–332. (in Hungarian with English abstract)

    Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Ouanphanivanh, N., Merényi, Zs., Orczán, Á. K., Bratek, Z., Szigeti, Z., Illyés, Z. (2008) Could orchids indicate truffle habitats? Mycorrhizal association between orchids and truffles. Acta Biol. Szeged 52, 229–232.

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Selosse, M.-A., Faccio, A., Scappaticci, G., Bonfante, P. (2004) Chlorophyllous and achlorophyllous specimens of Epipactis microphylla (Neottiae, Orchidaceae) are associated with ectomycorrhizal septomycetes, including truffles. Microb. Ecol. 47, 416–426.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Smith, S. E. (1966) Physiology and ecology of orchid mycorrhizal fungi with reference to seedling nutrition. New Phytol. 65, 488–499.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Stark, C., Babik, W., Durka, W. (2009) Fungi from the roots of the common terrestrial orchid Gymnadenia conopsea. Mycol. Res. 113, 952–959.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Tamura, K., Dudley, J., Nei, M., Kumar, S. (2007) MEGA4: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis (MEGA) software version 4.0. Mol. Biol. Evol. 24, 1596–1599.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Thompson, J. D., Higgins, D. G., Gibson, T. J. (1994) CLUSTAL W: improving the sensitivity of progressive multiple sequence alignment through sequence weighting, position-specific gap penalties and weight matrix choice. Nucleic Acids Res. 22, 4673–4680.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Vendramin, E., Gastaldo, A., Tondello, A., Baldan, B., Villani, M., Squartini, A. (2010) Identification of two fungal endophytes associated with the endangered orchid Orchis militaris L. J. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 20, 630–636.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Vértényi, G., Bratek, Z. (1996) Talajlakó orchideák mikorrhizaképző gombáinak izolálása és annak nehézségei. Mikol. Közl. 35, 31–36. (in Hungarian)

    Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Warcup, J. H. (1981) The mycorrhizal relationships of Australian orchids. New. Phytol. 87, 371–381.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    White, T. J., Bruns, T., Lee, S., Taylor, J. W. (1990) Amplification and direct sequencing of fungal ribosomal RNA genes for phylogenetics. In: Innis, M. A., Gelfand, D. H., Sninsky, J. J., White, T. J. (eds) PCR Protocols: A Guide to Methods and Applications. Academic Press, New York, pp. 315–322.

    Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Zelmer, C. D., Cutbertson, L., Currah, S. R. (1996) Fungi associated with terrestrial orchid mycorrhizas, seeds and protocorms. Mycoscience 37, 439–448.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Z. Bratek.

Rights and permissions

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Illyés, Z., Ouanphanivanh, N., Rudnóy, S. et al. The most recent results on orchid mycorrhizal fungi in Hungary. BIOLOGIA FUTURA 61, 68–76 (2010).

Download citation


  • Epulorhiza
  • orchid mycorrhiza
  • species specificity
  • Tuber
  • wetland