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    Description

    Western prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera praeclara Sheviak and Bowles), listed in 1989 as federally threatened, has been extirpated from 75% of historic sites throughout its range. We describe (a) threats to the orchid; (b) seed germination on synthetic medium; and (c) in vitro germination with mycorrhizal fungi. Destruction of prairies for farming and commercial development not only eliminates suitable habitat for prairie species, such activities add new threats such as loss of pollinators, alteration of site hydrology, and changes in vegetation composition. Certain mycorrhizal fungi essential for seed germination and protocorm development may also be affected by such changes. Several fungal isolates were used to evaluate in vitro germination of stratified seeds. Seed stratification for 4 and 6 mo enhanced germination while chemically scarified seeds without stratification failed to germinate. Stratified seeds inoculated with a seedling-derived fungus developed leaf primordia. Seed culture on synthetic nutrient medium resulted in poor germination and development. Reliable in vitro symbiotic propagation methods would be important for producing mycotrophic seedlings for transplant projects for conservation of the western prairie fringed orchid and its mycorrhizae.

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    Citation

    Sharma, Jyotsna; Van Sambeek, J. W.; Starbuck, Christopher J. 2002. Western Pairie Fringed Orchid: Its Status, Ecology, and in Vitro Propagation. In: Fore, Stephanie, ed. Proceedings, 18th North American Pairie Conference: Promoting Prarie; Kirksville, MO. [Saline, MI: McNaughton & Gunn, Inc.]: 189-193

    Keywords

    orchid mycorrhizae, symbiotic germination, asymbiotic germination

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/13795