The effects of organic compounds most commonly used for orchid micropropagation and the physical condition of the medium were investigated for the development of young temperate orchid protocorms. Separate experiments were conducted with five different temperate orchid species: Dactylorhiza fuchsii, Dactylorhiza maculata, Dactylorhiza majalis, Orchis morio, and Ophrys lutea. Small 2- to 4-mm-wide protocorms were placed in baby food jars (three per jar) containing 50 ml modified FAST medium (Szendrak and R. Eszki, 1993) supplemented with one of eight treatments in a split-plot design with five replications. Both the liquid medium (gyrotary shaker, 125 rpm) and the gelled medium (8 g agar/L) were supplemented with one of the following compounds: 2 g peptone/L; 100 ml coconut water/L; 1 g casein+1 g lactalbumin/L; and 10 g glucose/L as a treatment with a defined compound. All treatments were kept in the dark at 25°C. The number of protocorms/jar were counted weekly over a 6-week-long period and the size and fresh weight of protocorms were measured at the end of the 6th week. In most cases, the liquid medium increased proliferation and the size of the protocorms. However, generally after the 4th week on liquid medium, the development of the protocorms often stopped, but it continued on the gelled medium till the end of the experimental period. The media supplemented with the undefined organic compounds showed a much better effect than the medium supplemented with glucose. Generally peptone and coconut water led to the best development of protocorms, but this varied with species. The development of protocorms into plantlets was normal in all cases.
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