Background: Lack of phenological information and efficient collecting methods are considered impediments for orchid seed collecting. This leads to opportunistic collecting as part of general seed collecting schedules that may last few weeks especially in remote areas. The study explored the feasibility of collecting near mature and immature seeds to support conservation action plans. Mature, near mature and immature seeds of orchids were collected from the wild in the Central Highlands of Madagascar (CHM). Seed capsules were collected in sterile culture medium in the wild, to prevent deterioration of seeds inside the capsule after collecting, later to be cultured under laboratory conditions. Results: Seed capsules collected by the in vitro collecting (IVC) method were kept in very good condition for up to 4 weeks before germination under in vitro conditions. Significantly faster and higher germination rate ( p < 0.001) than mature seeds was observed in a number of taxa collected during a 3 year-long study. In some taxa even immature seeds, with no apparent sign of testa covering the embryo, germinated following IVC where mature seeds failed to germinate. Conclusions: We propose that IVC method has potential to complement conventional seed collecting by increasing the germplasm that can
Botanical Studies – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 8, 2017
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