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Caldasia

Print version ISSN 0366-5232

Abstract

DUARTE, Evelyn Raquel et al. Seed size and viability: implications on the evolution and conservation of Phaius tankervilleae (Orchidaceae). Caldasia [online]. 2017, vol.39, n.2, pp.388-399. ISSN 0366-5232.  http://dx.doi.org/10.15446/caldasia.v39n2.62184.

Phaius tankervilleae is a terrestrial orchid highly prized as ornamental and medicinal, which is why it is in danger of extinction in some countries such as Australia and Japan. Generating information on seed size and vigor is important in understanding aspects of the evolution of the species and finding conservation methods. This study aimed to test the hypothesis that the size and viability of P. tankervilleae seeds are positively related to fruit size. In order to carry out the study, fruits of different sizes were harvested, from which samples of 2.5 mg of seeds per fruit were taken. Morphological characterization of the seeds was carried out by means of microscope observations. A Tetrazolium test was carried out to determine the viability of seeds and measurements were taken of the length, width, and volume of both the testa and the embryo. Seeds with embryos are fusiform and the empty one are filiform, the embryo is relatively small and the seeds of medium size fruit are those that have less air space. The results confirm the hypothesis, the smaller the fruit the smaller the size and the number of viable seeds. Therefore, to have more seeds of good quality it is advisable to harvest larger fruits.

Keywords : Embryo; orchid; tetrazolium; seed Coat; volume.

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