Ex situ germination as a method for seed viability assessment in a peatland orchid, Platanthera blephariglottis

Authors: Lemay, Marc-AndréDe Vriendt, LaurentPellerin, StéphaniePoulin, Monique
Abstract: PREMISE OF THE STUDY: Assessing seed quality in orchids has been hindered by stringent germination requirements. Seed quality has traditionally been assessed in orchids using in vitro or in situ germination protocols or viability staining. However, these methods are not always well suited for rapid assessment of viability in the context of ecological studies. METHODS: The potential of an ex situ protocol for seed viability assessment of orchids in ecological studies was investigated by sowing seeds of Platanthera blephariglottis on Sphagnum moss collected in the orchid's natural habitat. Ex situ germination results were compared with those obtained by viability staining using triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC), and the effect of seed testa color on staining and germination results was investigated. KEY RESULTS: The ex situ protocol yielded high germination rates, with 66% of the seeds germinating after 9 wk. Depending on the seed testa color class, ex situ germination rates were about 1.4 to 2.5 times higher than viability rates determined using TTC, indicating that the TTC technique underestimated viability compared with the method using ex situ germination. The TTC estimates of viability rates were higher for seeds with dark-colored testae than for pale ones, whereas seed testa color had no effect on germination. CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed promising results for the use of ex situ germination as an alternative to previously developed protocols for seed viability assessment of orchids in ecological studies. Staining using TTC might not be well suited for this purpose, since it introduced a bias with respect to seed testa color.
Document Type: Article de recherche
Issue Date: 1 March 2015
Open Access Date: 16 September 2016
Document version: P
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/9948
This document was published in: American journal of botany, Vol. 102 (3), 390-395 (2015)
Botanical Society of America by the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens
Alternative version: 10.3732/ajb.1400441
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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