In vitro pollen germination of orchids traditionally used to produce salep
In Turkey the tubers of about 120 orchid species are widely collected for manufacturing the traditional drink salep. In this study, we focused on the in vitro germination of the pollen of the salep orchid species Ophrys mammosa, Orchis provincialis, Anacamptis morio subsp. morio, Orchis simia and Neotinea tridentata and discussed the potential effects this might have on the conservation of these orchids by reducing the need to collect them in the field. Pollen was sown on different media; Knudson, Orchimax and the medium described by Malmgren, and then incubated at 24 ± 1 °C in darkness for 24 h. Germinated pollen was stained with Brilliant Blue and examined under a stereoscopic microscope. Results of Tukey and Dunnett T3 statistical tests indicated that in terms of percentage germination, the best germination was observed on O. mammosa by 55% and Orchimax was the most successful medium by 50.5%. For pollinaria germination, the best rate was observed on O. mammosa by 69%. The medium Malmgren was the best germinative by 61.3%. It is clearly seen that difference in germination rates among studied species are achieved using different media. The development of such a method of studied species in this research points to the fact that this is possible and should serve as encouragement for others to devise procedures for other species. These kinds of researches on propagation of orchids would be useful to reintroducing some of the rarer, endangered and endemic species in Turkey such previously succeed for Orchis militaris and Liparis loeselii in Great Britain.
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