Novel orchid breeding to meet future market demands

F.C. Chen, S.W. Chin, J.Z. Huang
New cultivars of many orchids have been actively developed and released to the market worldwide. Different countries or areas may have different requirement for the types of orchid products, such as double spikes and certain flower sizes of Phalaenopsis pot plants are set as market standard for the trade. We have been working with breeding nobile-type Dendrobium and novelty Phalaenopsis hybrids for easy flowering, novel color and long lasting here in our university. Miniature type in small pot size, e.g., 6-cm pot, of nobile-type Dendrobium cultivars with free flowering under optimal cool temperature to save energy cost is one of the breeding goals. For novelty Phalaenopsis breeding hybrids with double/multiple spikes, multi flowers of heavy substance are being pursued by introducing germplasms with desirable traits for the cross hybridization, such as Phal. micholitzii which has compact leaves, multiple spikes and heavy flower substance. We have being using the species or its progeny with several spikes and more flower counts to cross pollinate with commercial cultivars. Some of the intermediate hybrids derived from this breeding program will be used as examples for explaining novelty Phalaenopsis breeding works. Polyploidy cultivars of Phalaenopsis are more popular than other ploidy in the flower market. Here we use sporad analysis of pollen mother cells to look for unreduced gametes so that the percentage of polyploid progeny can be increased after choosing suitable parents for cross hybridization. Recently developed alliance intergeneric hybrids derived from genera Holcoglossum and Rhynchostylis may have the chance to be integrated into Phalaenopsis cultivars to breed for novel traits. Molecular tools such as genomic and transcriptomic data mining may also help develop efficient breeding. Alternative splicing of a gene PhAGL6b leading to change of lip into petal like morphology will be discussed for future potential application of big lip breeding.
Chen, F.C., Chin, S.W. and Huang, J.Z. (2021). Novel orchid breeding to meet future market demands. Acta Hortic. 1312, 1-8
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1312.1
Phalaenopsis, nobile-type Dendrobium, cross hybridization, intergeneric hybrids, horticultural traits, polyploid, molecular analysis

Acta Horticulturae