Orchids are high value ornamental plants. In some countries such as in the United States, Orchids are the second most valuable ornamental plant. The trade made $144 million in 2005 (Department of Horticulture in Michigan State University). In addition, Orchid are well known as a commercial plant in Cambodia, but the orchid business has not yet reached high levels of profit due to the lack of techniques and human resources to cultivate the plant in local farms. Most orchids sold in Cambodia are imported. Therefore, I have decided to choose as topic for this thesis: “Orchid Propagation using tissue culture”.
This research will be conducted in order to
- Test the best quality of medium on tissue culture for a selected range of orchids from Cambodia that have commercial potential (Rynchostylis gigantea, Dendrobium draconis, Trichoglottis fasciata, Bulbophyllum macranthum, Paphiopedilum concolor)
- Comparing the practical aspect of propagation techniques, their comparative profitability based on the ease of reproduction by species, the quantity, quality and speed of obtaining seedlings.
Materials / equipment procurement and installation
Tissue culture has the highest commercial potential but requires some basic investment costs to ensure a sterile environment for the development of protocorms and seedlings. Equipment and space (one room) will be needed for this study.
Other Equipment includes: Laminar flow hood, CO2 incubator, Inverted microscope, Pipette aid, Aspiration pump, Centrifuge, Water bath, Cold storage, Cryopreservation equipment, Sterilization equipment, Balance, Vortex, Water purification, pH meter, Magnetic stirrer, Micropipettors, Cell counter, Video camera and monitor
Medium determination and Seed trials
This will be done with the collaboration of orchid specialists in Cambodia (from the orchidcambodia network).
Mr Sok Vichea in particular will be involved in providing seeds from local varieties, at appropriate times.
Cedric Jancloes will help to advise on the project process and provide support in the thesis development.
Specific experts such as Jeff Houttekiet will also be involved on advise for medium types used and the various processes required to manage in-vitro cultivation.
Germination and Seedling farming
In this phase, we will measure growth patterns based on the various species and medium. Some recommendations may be made on the market aspects of each of the species (time of sale/ potential of ‘green’ brand development)
Duration of study
This research will take 12 months, starting in May 2014.
to be determined
After research, we will have tested the potential of farmed orchid cultivation in Cambodia. The process will help to refine methods for tissue culture by using different media. This will lead us to identify the media that is easiest to make and has the highest efficiency. This will also help us to test the potential for future orchid farming, addressing the need to achieve better profit whilst sustaining and promoting local varieties.