Species List: Mycoheterotrophic Plants (99)
When: 2009-07-21
Observations: 206

Notes: Mycoheterotrophic plants (translated as fungus-other-feeders) use a fungus to form a bridge between two plants; one has chlorophyll and the other does not. The green plant makes the sugar, passes it to the fungus via a mycorrhizal relationship and the mycoheterotrophic plant robs the fungus and uses the sugar for its own growth and metabolism. It’s a parasite on the fungal symbiont. Another feature that unites this odd group of land plants is the lack of chlorophyll.

Some of the known fungal associates. (A family name indicates more than one genus is involved and a genus name indicates more than one species.)
Allotropa virgata (Sugarstick) – Tricholoma magnivelare
Boschniakia – no known fungal associate; a phytoheterotroph
Conopholis americana – no known fungal associate; directly on Oak; a phytoheterotroph
Corallorhiza maculata and C. mertensiana – Russulaceae
Corallorhiza striataTomentella fuscocinerea
Cryptothallus mirabilis -Tulasnella (a jelly fungus)
Epipactis helleborine – Pezizales, Tuber
Epipogium aphyllumInocybe
Hemitomes congestum (Gnome Plant) – Hydnellum diabolus, Hydnellum aurantiacum
Monotropa hypopitys (Pinesap, Dutchman’s Pipe) – Tricholoma cingulatum, Tricholoma flavovirens, Tricholoma portentosum, Tricholoma sejunctum
Monotropa uniflora (Ghost Plant, Indian Pipe) – Russulaceae, Russula brevipes, Russula cremoricolor, Lactarius theiogalus
Monotropastrum humileRussula
Monotropsis odorata (Sweet Pinesap) – Hydnellum, Hydnellum geogenium
Pityopus californicus (California Pinefoot) – Tricholoma myomyces, Tricholoma atrosquamosum, Tricholoma mutabile
Pleuricospora fimbriolata (Fringed Pinesap) – Gautieria monticola
Pterospora andromedea (Pinedrops) – Rhizopogon arctostaphyli, Rhizopogon salebrosus
Sarcodes sanguinea (Snow Plant) – Rhizopogon ellenae, Rhizopogon subpurpurascens


Add Comment
By: Joseph D. Cohen (Joe Cohen)
2014-08-13 10:20:44 CDT (-0500)

Are Boschniakia really mycoheterotrophic? See Else Vellinga’s comment on Observation 45285.

Created: 2009-07-21 10:18:18 CDT (-0500)
Last modified: 2019-04-24 15:26:18 CDT (-0500)
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