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Open Access Seed cryopreservation of selected Florida native orchid species

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Florida is a biodiversity hotspot for native orchids, containing half the species diversity of North America. Unfortunately, many populations of Florida native orchids are imperiled, accentuating the need for germplasm conservation. We aimed to optimise cryopreservation procedures for the conservation of Florida native orchid seeds. Germination of directly cryopreserved seeds was not significantly different from unfrozen controls for Bletia purpurea, Encyclia tampensis, Epidendrum amphytomum, E. nocturnum, E. rigidum, Eulophia alta and Prosthechea cochleata. Interspecific variation was observed as cryopreserved seeds of Calopogon tuberosus germinated at a higher rate (41%) than the unfrozen control (35%), whereas cryopreserved seeds of Cyrtopodium punctatum germinated at a lower rate (57%) than the unfrozen control (76%). Scanning electron microscopy confirmed immersion in liquid nitrogen did not cause seed coat damage in any of the nine species. Additionally, we equilibrated Bletia purpurea and Epidendrum nocturnum seeds to seven relative humidity levels prior to direct cryopreservation and found equilibration at RH ≤ 55% had no negative impact for either species. These studies represent initial procedures for the efficient conservation of Florida native orchids.

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Keywords: FLORIDA FLORA; GERMPLASM CONSERVATION; ORCHID SEEDS; ORCHIDACEAE; SEED CRYOPRESERVATON; SEED DESICCATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2018

This article was made available online on August 7, 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Seed cryopreservation of selected Florida native orchid species".

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  • Seed Science and Technology (SST) is one of the leading international journals featuring original papers and review articles on seed quality and physiology as related to seed production, harvest, processing, sampling, storage, distribution and testing. This widely recognised journal is designed to meet the needs of researchers, advisers and all those involved in the improvement and technical control of seed quality.
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