Pea seed extracts stimulate germination of the terrestrial orchidOphrys apiferaHuds. during a habitat restoration project

Simon Pierce, Valentina Guidi, Andrea Ferrario, Roberta M. Ceriani, Massimo Labra, Ilda Vagge, Bruno E. L. Cerabolini
2013 Plant Biosystems  
Novel methods are required to break the seed dormancy of temperate-zone orchids and aid the conservation of rare species. Zeatin is produced in increasing concentrations during the development of pea (Pisum sativum) seeds. We hypothesised that hot water extracts of pea seeds stimulate germination of the orchid Ophrys apifera in vitro, particularly for extractions made during later pea development. Pea seeds, exposed to 0, 3, 6, 9, 12 or 15 days of periodic wetting, were extracted in hot water
more » ... d the extracts were added to Malmgren's growth medium. Germination of O. apifera on this medium was quantified after 7 months, stimulated by a range of pure hormones. Pea seed extract collected later in pea development (at 6-15 days) inhibited germination of O. apifera. However, extracts taken at 0 and 3 days significantly increased germination from 3.8^0.32% in the control to 9.1^1.84% and 7.6^0.79%, respectively: increases comparable to the most effective of the pure hormones. Dried peas therefore provide an economical alternative source of germination stimulants for orchids. We briefly report how sufficient mature plants of O. apifera were produced to allow a population to be multiplied to 15 times its original size during a habitat restoration project.
doi:10.1080/11263504.2013.809814 fatcat:s4glydzatnafjc4dgnkzdwiple